reactionary vs reactive : Common Errors in English

About reactionary vs reactive

Many people incorrectly use “reactionary” to mean “acting in response to some outside stimulus.” That’s reactive. “Reactionary” actually has a very narrow meaning; it is a noun or adjective describing a form of looking backward that goes beyond conservatism (wanting to prevent change and maintain present conditions) to reaction—wanting to recreate a lost past. The advocates of restoring Czarist rule in Russia are reactionaries. While we’re on the subject, the term “proactive” formed by analogy with “reactive” seems superfluous to many of us. Use “active,” “assertive,” or “positive” whenever you can instead.

reactionary Meaning(s)

  • (n) an extreme conservative; an opponent of progress or liberalism
  • (s) extremely conservative

reactive Meaning(s)

  • (a) participating readily in reactions
  • (s) reacting to a stimulus

reactionary in News

  1. LATEST NEWS

    In the history of the modern church, there has never been a more maligned priest than Father Andrew M. Greeley , who passed away May 29. He was condemned as a reactionary liberal, but he was a sound visionary and warned about church failings.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Stamford Advocate

  2. From the West looking East: ‘Tents’ in need of revival

    Three words for some thoughtful young Republicans concerned about the future of their party: Save your breath. Those worried that the GOP is losing traction with young voters know exactly who runs the party today: its most reactionary — meaning least conciliatory — faction in generations. So the College Republican National Committee could have saved precious ink and said “the heck with” rather ...
    on June 13, 2013 Source: The Sierra Vista Herald

  3. Opinion: The church is need of a revival

    Three words for some thoughtful young Republicans concerned about the future of their party: Save your breath. Those worried that the GOP is losing traction with young voters know exactly who runs the party today: its most reactionary — meaning least conciliatory — faction in generations.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Summit Daily News

reactive in News

  1. Toxic hazards await astronauts who explore Mars

    By Leonard David HowellSpace.comThe pervading carpet of perchlorate chemicals found on Mars may boost the chances that microbial life exists on the Red Planet — but perchlorates are also perilous to the health of future crews destined to explore that way-off world.Perchlorates are reactive chemicals first detected in arctic Martian soil by NASA's Phoenix lander that plopped down on Mars over ...
    on June 14, 2013 Source: NBC NEWS

  2. Stunna Shades With LED Lights Groove to the Music

    Listen up, party people: Get ready to ditch your old stunna shades and slap on a pair of high-tech upgrades. A Texas-based Kickstarter campaign is promoting DropShades , audio-responsive glasses that dance to the beat of music via sound-reactive technology. The rave accessories tap a tiny microphone connected to a signal processor to translate incoming sounds across six horizontal bars and LED ...
    on June 12, 2013 Source: Mashable

  3. Certain inflammatory biomarkers associated with increased risk of COPD exacerbations

    Simultaneously elevated levels of the biomarkers C-reactive protein, fibrinogen and leukocyte count in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were associated with increased risk of having exacerbations, even in those with milder COPD and in those without previous exacerbations, according to a study in the June 12 issue of JAMA.
    on June 12, 2013 Source: EurekAlert!

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