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1Of or involving the action of associating ideas or things.
‘an associative, nonlinear mode of thought’
‘We love it when a painter drops you into uncertain territory, where all reference points are speculative and you're left to your own associative devices.’
‘So they turned to another method called associative dating.’
‘He seemed to know where everything was and, more than this, was able to summon from memory its aesthetic and associative merit.’
‘The wildly associative script skips through historical periods as well as genres, and one of the high points is an incredibly dynamic, eight-page verse monologue.’
‘Because values are determined by communities rather than just by individuals, teens must be free to openly discuss how their associative groups - whether religious or secular - answer these questions.’
‘It's a densely allusive, punning, always associative flow that manages to keep its narrative movement alive with dizzying glances in all directions along the way.’
‘The experience of associative discovery is lost.’
‘Thinking in the intuitive mode is swift, effortless, and associative, whereas thinking in the rational mode takes time and effort.’
‘Through typical associative learning, the wasps can learn to link this chemical scent to their food.’
‘Full of associative forms, his works are often question marks that invite multiple interpretations.’
‘This involves a form of associative learning (learning from the association between an action and the reinforcer), rather than any insight.’
‘The link between associative learning and fitness in such insects in not an obvious one.’
‘First, the epidemiologic studies are associative and do not indicate a definite causal link between smoking and decreased risk of disease.’
‘What's important is the associative habits people have and, crudely put, who they're prepared to trust.’
‘They treat them as unequal under the law, as lacking full civil capacity, as not having the property rights, associative liberties, and employment rights of males.’
‘Like electronic media, your eye keeps flicking back and forth over the images trying to decipher them, creating little associative narratives in your mind.’
‘There is some associative evidence that steroid use can increase the risk of prostate cancer, but this link has yet to be borne out in a laboratory setting.’
‘The dance adds different layers to that, in an associative way.’
‘Nevertheless, we chatted a bit about how inept we both were at making turkey and the associative guilt we felt at being relegated to mashing potatoes.’
‘My memory, for what it's worth, works in a vague, associative way.’
1.1Computing attributiveOf or denoting computer storage in which items are identified by content rather than by address.
‘In PHP, we can access these HTTP request variables by way of the associative array.’
‘At the very top of the range, you might find a fully associative cache.’
‘At the product's heart is a data warehousing solution that provides an associative layer on top of the warehouse itself.’
‘Dubbed ‘Smart Cache’, the system gives both cores access to the full 2MB of the eight-way associative L2 cache, dynamically adjusting the area allotted to each core.’
‘There's an eight-way associative cache line for resolving conflicts on a LRU basis.’
2Mathematics Involving the condition that a group of quantities connected by operators gives the same result whatever their grouping, as long as their order remains the same, e.g., (a × b) × c = a × (b × c).
‘These two rules are called the commutative and associative laws for multiplication.’
‘We may be informed, for example, that the numbers have a dense linear ordering, that there are associative and commutative operations of addition and multiplication, and so on.’
‘His main work was on associative algebras, non-associative algebras, and Riemann matrices.’
‘He then extended his father's work on associative algebras and worked on mathematical logic and set theory.’
‘What are the associative, commutative, distributive, and equality properties?’