WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
pos•i•tive /ˈpɑzɪtɪv/USA pronunciation
adj. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
- confident in belief or in what one says;
sure:[be + ~ + (that) clause]He is positive that he'll win.
- expressing agreement;
favorable:a positive reaction to his speech.
- expressing a statement that indicates or means "yes'';
affirmative:a positive answer.
- emphasizing what is hopeful about a situation;
constructive:Be more positive in your outlook on life.
- clearly expressed;
definite:issued a positive denial.
- allowing no doubt;
that cannot be argued against:[usually: before a noun]positive identification of the body.
- Informal Terms complete;
out-and-out:[before a noun]She's a positive genius!
- moving in a direction thought of as showing progress, etc.:a positive trend.
- Electricityrelating to the electricity in a body lacking in electrons:a positive charge.
- Chemistry(of a chemical element or group) tending to lose electrons and become positively charged;
- Medicine(of a medical test) indicating the presence of the disease, condition, etc., tested for.
- Mathematicsnaming a number greater than zero:positive integers.
- Grammarof or naming the simple, base form of an adjective or adverb, as good or smoothly, in contrast to the comparative or superlative form.
- Photographyof or naming a photographic print showing the brightness values as they are in the subject.
pos•i•tive•ness, n. [uncountable]See -pos-.
- something positive;
a positive quality or characteristic.
- the positive degree in grammatical comparison.
- the positive form of an adjective or adverb.
- Photographya positive photographic image, as on a print or transparency.
(poz′i tiv),USA pronunciation adj.
- explicitly stated, stipulated, or expressed:a positive acceptance of the agreement.
- admitting of no question:positive proof.
emphatic:a positive denial.
- confident in opinion or assertion;
fully assured:He is positive that he will win the contest.
- overconfident or dogmatic:The less he knows, the more positive he gets.
- without relation to or comparison with other things;
not relative or comparative;
- Informal Termsdownright;
out-and-out:She's a positive genius.
- determined by enactment or convention;
arbitrarily laid down:positive law.
- emphasizing what is laudable, hopeful, or to the good;
constructive:a positive attitude toward the future; positive things to say about a painting.
- not speculative or theoretical;
practical:a positive approach to the problem.
- possessing an actual force, being, existence, etc.
- constructive and sure, rather than skeptical.
- concerned with or based on matters of experience:positive philosophy.
- showing or expressing approval or agreement;
favorable:a positive reaction to the speech.
- consisting in or characterized by the presence or possession of distinguishing or marked qualities or features (opposed to negative):Light is positive, darkness negative.
- noting the presence of such qualities, as a term.
- measured or proceeding in a direction assumed as beneficial, progressive, or auspicious:a positive upturn in the stock market.
- 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.
- Electricityof, pertaining to, or noting the north pole of a magnet.
- Chemistry(of an element or group) tending to lose electrons and become positively charged;
- 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).
- Medicinea. (of blood, affected tissue, etc.) showing the presence of disease.b. (of a diagnostic test) indicating disease.
- BiochemistrySee Rh factor.
- Mathematicsnoting a quantity greater than zero.
- (of government) assuming control or regulation of activities beyond those involved merely with the maintenance of law and order.
- Biologyoriented or moving toward the focus of excitation:a positive tropism.
- Photographydenoting a print or transparency showing the brightness values as they are in the subject.
- 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.
- something positive.
- a positive quality or characteristic.
- a positive quantity or symbol.
- the positive degree.
- a form in the positive, as good or smooth.
- Photographya positive image, as on a print or transparency.
- Latin, as above. See posit, -ive
- Middle French
- Latin positīvus; replacing Middle English positif
- 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
- characterized by or expressing certainty or affirmation: a positive answer
- composed of or possessing actual or specific qualities; real: a positive benefit
- tending to emphasize what is good or laudable; constructive: he takes a very positive attitude when correcting pupils' mistakes
- tending towards progress or improvement; moving in a beneficial direction
- constructive rather than sceptical
- (prenominal) informal (intensifier): a positive delight
- having a value greater than zero: a positive number
- measured in a direction opposite to that regarded as negative
- having the same magnitude as but opposite sense to an equivalent negative quantity
- denoting the usual form of an adjective as opposed to its comparative or superlative form
- (of an electric charge) having an opposite polarity to the charge of an electron and the same polarity as the charge of a proton
- (of a body, system, ion, etc) having a positive electric charge; having a deficiency of electrons
- short for electropositive
- (of the results of an examination or test) indicating the existence or presence of a suspected disorder or pathogenic organism
- of or denoting an analysis that is free of ethical, political, or value judgments
Etymology: 13th Century: from Late Latin positīvus positive, agreed on an arbitrary basis, from pōnere to placeˈpositiveness, ˌposiˈtivity n
- something that is positive
- a quantity greater than zero
- a print or slide showing a photographic image whose colours or tones correspond to those of the original subject
- the positive degree of an adjective or adverb
- a positive object, such as a terminal or plate in a voltaic cell
'positive' also found in these entries: