- The definition of proactive is someone who takes an active role in dealing with something before it needs to be taken care of.
An example of proactive is a student studying for a fall semester class during their summer vacation.
Origin of proactivepro- + -active, as in reactive
Origin of proactivepro- + -active, as in retroactive
- pro·ac′tive·ness, pro′ac·tiv′i·ty
(comparative more proactive, superlative most proactive)
Some consider proactive to be a buzzword, and it is associated with business-speak.
pro- + active; originally coined 1933 by Paul Whiteley and Gerald Blankfort in a psychology paper, used in technical sense. Used in a popular context and sense (courage, perseverance) in 1946 book Man’s Search for Meaning by neuropsychiatrist Viktor Emil Frankl, in the context of dealing with the Holocaust, as contrast with reactive.