Meaning of ADDITIVE in English

I. ˈadəd.iv, -ətiv adjective

Etymology: Late Latin additivus, from Latin additus (past participle of addere to add) + -ivus -ive — more at add

1. : tending to add or be added : admitting, involving, or characterized by addition

the process of cultural development is … additive — A.L.Kroeber

2. philosophy : having the distinctive character of extensive magnitudes : of the nature of an addition or aggregation rather than an organic union of parts

this pluralistic view of a world of additive constitution — William James

3. : having a numeral value equal to the sum of the values for the component parts — used of a property; compare colligative , constitutive 3

molecular weight may be thought of as an additive property

4. : relating to the sum of the pharmacological responses produced by the concurrent administration of two or more drugs capable of producing the same kind of effect


a. : relating to the controlled mixing of colored light sources (as red, green, and blue) to form a colored image : formed by superposition or other nondestructive combination of colored lights

b. : relating to a method of making halftone color prints in which the dots for each color are placed beside each other

6. : having a genic effect that is the sum of the individual effects

• ad·di·tive·ly adverb

II. noun

( -s )

1. : a substance added to another in relatively small amounts to impart or improve desirable properties or suppress undesirable properties: as

a. : a chemical added to a lubricating oil to make it suitable for use at extreme pressures or to prevent corrosion

an extreme-pressure additive

b. : a chemical (as an antiknock agent or an agent for counteracting deposits on spark plugs) added to gasoline

tetraethyl lead is a gasoline additive

c. : an agent added to a foodstuff to improve color, flavor, texture, or keeping qualities

gelatin is an additive in the manufacture of ice cream

d. : material added to soil or feeds to improve plant or animal growth by indirect action

2. : an arithmetical key for superencipherment especially when numeral code groups are enciphered by adding to them a numeral keying sequence usually by noncarrying addition

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.