from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to reduction.
  • adj. Relating to, being an instance of, or exhibiting reductionism.
  • adj. Relating to or being an instance of reductivism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or causing physical reduction.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to reductionism or reductivism.
  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or causing figurative reduction; belittling, disparaging, ridiculing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Tending to reduce; having the power or effect of reducing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having the property, power, or effect of reducing; tending to reduce.
  • n. That which has the power of reducing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. characterized by or causing diminution or curtailment


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I explained how I had arrived at the assertion that he had described as reductive: Either everything written is literature, or only some of it is.

    Argument and monologue

  • This is certainly true in the case of Abelard and Ockham, whom we earlier identified as reductive realists.

    Medieval Theories of Relations

  • Madonna's savoir faire as a marketer is unfailing: Her comment - she called Gaga's song "reductive"- has everyone talking about her again.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • This kind of reductive description has especially been used for quite some time now by academics eager to rid the study of literature of all vestiges of formalism in favor of "cultural critique."

    Saying Something

  • His "(though Hillary's tough Iran talk certainly does make it easier to simplify matters in this fashion)" places his "reductive" in context here, IMO.

    Obama: Hillary's Tough Talk Towards Iran Is "Reflective Of George Bush"

  • The mosaic artists in Tunisia created these faces according to the same kind of reductive thinking.

    Ancient Pixel Knowledge

  • Bastet's Tail, Ape, I'd expect that kind of reductive, simplistic smear from a Blogging Tory, but not from YOU.

    Is It Wednesday Yet?

  • Most of your posts reveal you to be open-minded and respectful, but this kind of reductive assertion is exactly what polarizes this issue.

    jesus h.

  • I think that has an inevitable kind of reductive effect on the amount of substance that gets conveyed, both by the candidates and by the news; you know, the news, too.

    The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election

  • Though he happens to be applying the term "reductive" to my psychoanalytic model of literary response, he could equally well apply it to a structuralist, Marxist, Christian, phenomenological, archetypal, or any other theory of literature.

    Shrinking Literature


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