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collective definition


This page has 11 definitions of collective in English, French, and Latin. Collective is an adjective and noun. Examples of how to use collective in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

English collective definition


From Middle French collectif, from Latin collēctīvus, from collēctus, past participle of colligō (I collect), from com- (together) + legō (I gather). Compare French collectif. Doublet of colectivo.


  • IPA(key): /kəˈlɛktɪv/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation, US: col‧lec‧tive; UK: col‧lect‧ive
  • Rhymes: -ɛktɪv


collective (not comparable)

  1. Formed by gathering or collecting; gathered into a mass, sum, or body.
    Synonyms: congregated, aggregated
    the collective body of a nation
  2. Tending to collect; forming a collection.
  3. Having plurality of origin or authority.
  4. (grammar) Expressing a collection or aggregate of individuals, by a singular form.
  5. (obsolete) Deducing consequences; reasoning; inferring.

Derived terms

Related terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.


collective (plural collectives)

  1. A farm owned by a collection of people.
  2. (especially in communist countries) One of more farms managed and owned, through the state, by the community.
  3. (grammar) A collective noun or name.
  4. (by extension) A group dedicated to a particular cause or interest.
    • 2005, Zoya Kocur, Simon Leung, Theory in contemporary art since 1985 (page 76)
      There are, however, a number of contemporary artists and art collectives that have defined their practice precisely around the facilitation of dialogue among diverse communities.
    • 2006 March 5, Holland Cotter, “The Collective Conscious”, in The New York Times[1], ISSN 0362-4331:
      Critical Art Ensemble is one of many art collectives operating on the principle that information is power and that it is most effectively made available through a combination of science and aesthetics.
    • 2021 October 13, Adam Bradley, “The Creative Collectives Finding Strength in Numbers”, in The New York Times[2], ISSN 0362-4331:
      Today’s collectives create together, tour together, exhibit together, live together, survive together, eat together, sleep together, march together, fight together and party together, too.


Derived terms

See also


Further reading

  • "collective" in Raymond Williams, Keywords (revised), 1983, Fontana Press, page 69.

French collective definition




  1. feminine singular of collectif
    Après une belle action collective, l'équipe a enfin marqué un but.(please add an English translation of this usage example)

Latin collective definition



  1. vocative masculine singular of collēctīvus