Definition of additive in English:


Syllabification: ad·di·tive
Pronunciation: /ˈaditiv


  • A substance added to something in small quantities, typically to improve or preserve it: many foods contain chemical additives
    More example sentences
    • Sometimes these additives can improve flavour, but obviously they can also detract from it.
    • Tea or supper will not be a supermarket ready-meal full of additives, preservatives and artificial flavourings.
    • One reason could be down to the fact that additives, colourings and preservatives are more prevalent in our food than ever.
    added ingredient, addition; preservative, coloring


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  • 1Characterized by, relating to, or produced by addition: an additive process the combination of these factors has an additive effect
    More example sentences
    • This result is opposite of what is expected if the fitness effects are additive or multiplicative.
    • The period length of the double mutant strains was close to values predicted from assuming an additive or multiplicative effect from each mutation.
    • These rates are greater than expected for additive or multiplicative effects of the single mutations.
  • 1.1 technical Of or relating to the reproduction of colors by the superimposition of primary colors: the video monitor uses the additive colors red, green, and blue
    More example sentences
    • The artistic palette of colors, on the other hand, includes additive colors which include red, green and blue.
    • Another alternative is to have the additive colors in small containers and have the students dip the brush in to get a small amount.
    • The three types of cones are often, and somewhat misleadingly, equated with Maxwell's additive primaries of red, blue, and green.


late 17th century (as an adjective): from late Latin additivus, from Latin addit- 'added', from the verb addere (see add). The noun dates from the 1940s.

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