WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
pos•i•tive /ˈpɑzɪtɪv/USA pronunciation   adj. 
  1. confident in belief or in what one says;
    sure:[be + ~ + (that) clause]He is positive that he'll win.
  2. expressing agreement;
    favorable:a positive reaction to his speech.
  3. expressing a statement that indicates or means "yes'';
    affirmative:a positive answer.
  4. emphasizing what is hopeful about a situation;
    constructive:Be more positive in your outlook on life.
  5. clearly expressed;
    definite:issued a positive denial.
  6. allowing no doubt;
    that cannot be argued against:[usually: before a noun]positive identification of the body.
  7. Informal Terms complete;
    out-and-out:[before a noun]She's a positive genius!
  8. moving in a direction thought of as showing progress, etc.:a positive trend.
  9. Electricityrelating to the electricity in a body lacking in electrons:a positive charge.
  10. Chemistry(of a chemical element or group) tending to lose electrons and become positively charged;
    basic:positive ions.
  11. Medicine(of a medical test) indicating the presence of the disease, condition, etc., tested for.
  12. Mathematicsnaming a number greater than zero:positive integers.
  13. Grammarof or naming the simple, base form of an adjective or adverb, as good or smoothly, in contrast to the comparative or superlative form.
  14. Photographyof or naming a photographic print showing the brightness values as they are in the subject.

n. [countable]
  1. something positive;
    a positive quality or characteristic.
  2. Grammar
    • the positive degree in grammatical comparison.
    • the positive form of an adjective or adverb.
  3. Photographya positive photographic image, as on a print or transparency.
pos•i•tive•ness, n. [uncountable]See -pos-.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
pos•i•tive  (pozi tiv),USA pronunciation adj. 
  1. explicitly stated, stipulated, or expressed:a positive acceptance of the agreement.
  2. admitting of no question:positive proof.
  3. stated;
    emphatic:a positive denial.
  4. confident in opinion or assertion;
    fully assured:He is positive that he will win the contest.
  5. overconfident or dogmatic:The less he knows, the more positive he gets.
  6. without relation to or comparison with other things;
    not relative or comparative;
  7. Informal Termsdownright;
    out-and-out:She's a positive genius.
  8. determined by enactment or convention;
    arbitrarily laid down:positive law.
  9. emphasizing what is laudable, hopeful, or to the good;
    constructive:a positive attitude toward the future; positive things to say about a painting.
  10. not speculative or theoretical;
    practical:a positive approach to the problem.
  11. possessing an actual force, being, existence, etc.
  12. Philosophy
    • constructive and sure, rather than skeptical.
    • concerned with or based on matters of experience:positive philosophy.
  13. showing or expressing approval or agreement;
    favorable:a positive reaction to the speech.
  14. consisting in or characterized by the presence or possession of distinguishing or marked qualities or features (opposed to negative):Light is positive, darkness negative.
  15. noting the presence of such qualities, as a term.
  16. measured or proceeding in a direction assumed as beneficial, progressive, or auspicious:a positive upturn in the stock market.
  17. Electricity
    • Electricityof, pertaining to, or characterized by positive electricity.
    • indicating a point in a circuit that has a higher potential than that of another point, the current flowing from the point of higher potential to the point of lower potential.
  18. Electricityof, pertaining to, or noting the north pole of a magnet.
  19. Chemistry(of an element or group) tending to lose electrons and become positively charged;
  20. Grammarbeing, noting, or pertaining to the initial degree of the comparison of adjectives and adverbs, as the positive form good. Cf.  comparative (def. 4), superlative (def. 2).
  21. Medicinea. (of blood, affected tissue, etc.) showing the presence of disease.b. (of a diagnostic test) indicating disease.
  22. BiochemistrySee  Rh factor. 
  23. Mathematicsnoting a quantity greater than zero.
  24. (of government) assuming control or regulation of activities beyond those involved merely with the maintenance of law and order.
  25. Biologyoriented or moving toward the focus of excitation:a positive tropism.
  26. Photographydenoting a print or transparency showing the brightness values as they are in the subject.
  27. Mechanical Engineering[Mach.]noting or pertaining to a process or machine part having a fixed or certain operation, esp. as the result of elimination of play, free motion, etc.:positive lubrication.

  1. something positive.
  2. a positive quality or characteristic.
  3. a positive quantity or symbol.
  4. Grammar
    • the positive degree.
    • a form in the positive, as good or smooth.
  5. Photographya positive image, as on a print or transparency.
posi•tive•ness, n. 
  • Latin, as above. See posit, -ive
  • Middle French
  • Latin positīvus; replacing Middle English positif
  • 1250–1300
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged definite, unequivocal, categorical, clear, precise, sure.
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged incontrovertible, indisputable.
    • 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged unquestioning.
    • 4, 5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See  sure. 
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged indefinite.
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged doubtful.
    • 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged unsure, unconfident, uncertain.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

positive /ˈpɒzɪtɪv/ adj
  1. characterized by or expressing certainty or affirmation: a positive answer
  2. composed of or possessing actual or specific qualities; real: a positive benefit
  3. tending to emphasize what is good or laudable; constructive: he takes a very positive attitude when correcting pupils' mistakes
  4. tending towards progress or improvement; moving in a beneficial direction
  5. constructive rather than sceptical
  6. (prenominal) informal (intensifier): a positive delight
  7. having a value greater than zero: a positive number
  8. measured in a direction opposite to that regarded as negative
  9. having the same magnitude as but opposite sense to an equivalent negative quantity
  10. denoting the usual form of an adjective as opposed to its comparative or superlative form
  11. (of an electric charge) having an opposite polarity to the charge of an electron and the same polarity as the charge of a proton
  12. (of a body, system, ion, etc) having a positive electric charge; having a deficiency of electrons
  13. short for electropositive
  14. (of the results of an examination or test) indicating the existence or presence of a suspected disorder or pathogenic organism
  15. of or denoting an analysis that is free of ethical, political, or value judgments
  1. something that is positive
  2. a quantity greater than zero
  3. a print or slide showing a photographic image whose colours or tones correspond to those of the original subject
  4. the positive degree of an adjective or adverb
  5. a positive object, such as a terminal or plate in a voltaic cell
Etymology: 13th Century: from Late Latin positīvus positive, agreed on an arbitrary basis, from pōnere to place

ˈpositiveness, ˌposiˈtivity n

'positive' also found in these entries:
Collocations: [got, gave] a false positive, the test (result) was a positive, the positives (and negatives) of the [job, position], more...

Forum discussions with the word(s) "positive" in the title:

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