Pronunciation: (i-nish'ē-u-tiv, i-nish'u-),[key] —n. 1. an introductory act or step; leading action: to take the initiative in making friends. 2. readiness and ability in initiating action; enterprise: to lack initiative. 3. one's personal, responsible decision: to act on one's own initiative. 4. Govt. a. a procedure by which a specified number of voters may propose a statute, constitutional amendment, or ordinance, and compel a popular vote on its adoption. Cf. referendum (def. 1).
b. the general right or ability to present a new bill or measure, as in a legislature.
—adj. of or pertaining to initiation; serving to initiate: Initi-ative steps were taken to stop manufacture of the drug.