Learner's definition of INITIATIVE
1 the initiative : the power or opportunity to do something before others do
If you want to meet her, you're going to have to take the initiative and introduce yourself.
The company has the opportunity to seize the initiative by getting its new products to the market before its competitors.
By failing to get its products to the market on schedule, the company has lost the initiative (to its competitors).
2 [noncount] : the energy and desire that is needed to do something
◊ If you do something on your own initiative, you do it because you choose to, not because someone has told you to do it.
If you use your (own) initiative, you decide for yourself what to do instead of waiting to be told by someone else.
3 [count] : a plan or program that is intended to solve a problem