9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ree-ak-tiv] /riˈæk tɪv/
tending to react.
pertaining to or characterized by reaction.
Electricity. pertaining to or characterized by reactance.
Origin of reactive
1705-15; react + -ive
Related forms
reactively, adverb
reactiveness, noun
antireactive, adjective
hyperreactive, adjective
nonreactive, adjective
overreactive, adjective
unreactive, adjective
Can be confused
proactive, reactionary, reactive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for reactive
  • When the coating gets scratched, the polyurethane rings break open, creating two reactive ends.
  • When a coral is broken or wounded, it releases highly reactive atoms of oxygen known as free radicals to close up the gashes.
  • Many say the agency became more reactive than proactive.
  • As the reactive branch of government, the federal judiciary has been disinclined to get too closely involved.
  • Instead of being flexible and responsive, the existing structure is rigid and reactive.
  • They're at risk for burnout, grief and reactive depression and need coping strategies themselves.
  • The system might more properly be described as reactive, in that it responds to sound waves already headed toward human ears.
  • Community policing is a broad term generally meaning an approach to law enforcement that's proactive instead of reactive.
  • The wind energy industry typically uses a reactive maintenance approach or run-to-failure maintenance.
  • Also, an ever present problem with energetic water reactive materials is humidity.
British Dictionary definitions for reactive


readily partaking in chemical reactions: sodium is a reactive metal, free radicals are very reactive
of, concerned with, or having a reactance
responsive to stimulus
(of mental illnesses) precipitated by an external cause: reactive depression
Derived Forms
reactively, adverb
reactivity (ˌriːækˈtɪvɪtɪ), reactiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for reactive

1712, from react + -ive. Related: Reactively; reactiveness; reactivity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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reactive in Medicine

reactive re·ac·tive (rē-āk'tĭv)

  1. Tending to be responsive or to react to a stimulus.

  2. Characterized by reaction.

  3. Tending to participate readily in chemical reactions.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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