collective (adj.)

early 15c., collectif, "comprehensive," from Old French collectif, from Latin collectivus, from collectus, past participle of colligere "gather together," from com- "together" (see com-) + legere "to gather" (from PIE root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather"). In grammar, from mid-15c., "expressing under a singular form a whole consisting of a plurality of individuals." From c. 1600 as "belonging to or exercised by a number of individuals jointly." Related: Collectively; collectiveness.

Collective bargaining was coined 1891 by English sociologist and social reformer Beatrice Webb; it was defined in U.S. 1935 by the Wagner Act. Collective noun is recorded from 1510s; collective security first attested 1934 in speech by Winston Churchill.

As a noun, from 1640s, "a collective noun" (singular in number but signifying an aggregate or assemblage, such as crowd, jury, society). As short for collective farm (in the USSR) it dates from 1925; collective farm itself is first attested 1919 in translations of Lenin.

updated on December 09, 2020

Definitions of collective from WordNet
collective (adj.)
done by or characteristic of individuals acting together;
the collective mind
Synonyms: corporate
collective (adj.)
forming a whole or aggregate;
collective (adj.)
set up on the principle of collectivism or ownership and production by the workers involved usually under the supervision of a government;
collective farms
collective (n.)
members of a cooperative enterprise;
From, not affiliated with etymonline.