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positive definition

Overview

This page has 55 definitions of positive with English translations in 9 languages. Positive is an adjective, noun and verb. Examples of how to use positive in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: Positive and positivé

English positive definition

Alternative forms

  • +ve (abbreviation)

Etymology

From Old French positif, from Latin positivus, from the past participle stem of ponere (to place). Compare posit.

Pronunciation

Adjective

positive (comparative more positive, superlative most positive)

  1. Not negative or neutral.
  2. (law) Formally laid down. [from the 14th c.]
    • 1594, Richard Hooker, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie
      In laws, that which is natural bindeth universally; that which is positive, not so.
  3. Stated definitively and without qualification. [from the 16th c.]
  4. Fully assured in opinion. [from the 17th c.]
    Synonyms: certain, sure, wis
    Antonyms: uncertain, unsure
    I’m absolutely positive you've spelt that wrong.
  5. (mathematics) Of number, greater than zero. [from the 18th c.]
    Antonym: nonpositive
  6. Characterized by constructiveness or influence for the better.
    • 1701, [Jonathan Swift], “Chapter I”, in A Discourse of the Contests and Dissensions between the Nobles and the Commons in Athens and Rome, with the Consequences They Had upon Both Those States, London: [] John Nutt [], OCLC 863434346, page 11:
      Not to conſent to the Enacting of ſuch a Law, which has no view beſide to general Good, unleſs another Law ſhall at the ſame time paſs, with no other view but that of advancing the Power of one Party alone; What is this but to claim a positive Voice as well as a negative?
  7. Overconfident, dogmatic.
  8. (chiefly philosophy) Actual, real, concrete, not theoretical or speculative.
    • 1597, Francis [Bacon], “Of the Colours of Good and Evill, a Fragment”, in The Essayes [], 3rd edition, London: [] Iohn Haviland [], published 1632, OCLC 863527675:
      [I]f the privation be good, it followes not the former condition was evill, but lesse good; for the flower or blossome, is a positive good, although the remove of it to give place to the fruit, be a comparative good.
    • 1885, Marcellin Berthelot, Les Origines de l'Alkimie as quoted in M. M. Pattison Muir, A History of Chemical Theories and Laws, 1907.
      Chemistry is not a primitive science, like geometry or astronomy; it is constructed from the debris of a previous scientific formation; a formation half chimerical and half positive...
  9. (physics) Having more protons than electrons.
    Antonym: negative
    A cation is a positive ion as it has more protons than electrons.
  10. (grammar) Describing the primary sense of an adjective, adverb or noun; not comparative, superlative, augmentative nor diminutive.
    ‘Better’ is an irregular comparative of the positive form ‘good’.
  11. (grammar) Describing a verb that is not negated, especially in languages which have distinct positive and negative verb forms, e.g., Finnish.
  12. Derived from an object by itself; not dependent on changing circumstances or relations.
    Synonym: absolute
    The idea of beauty is not positive, but depends on the different tastes of individuals.
    positive knowledge
  13. Characterized by the existence or presence of distinguishing qualities or features, rather than by their absence.
    The box was not empty – I felt some positive substance within it.
  14. Characterized by the presence of features which support a hypothesis.
    The results of our experiment are positive.
  15. (photography) Of a visual image, true to the original in light, shade and colour values.
    A positive photograph can be developed from a photographic negative.
  16. Favorable, desirable by those interested or invested in that which is being judged.
    The first-night reviews were largely positive.
  17. Wholly what is expressed; colloquially downright, entire, outright.
    Good lord, you've built up a positive arsenal of weaponry here.
  18. Optimistic. [from the 20th c.]
    He has a positive outlook on life.
  19. (chemistry) electropositive
  20. (chemistry) basic; metallic; not acid; opposed to negative, and said of metals, bases, and basic radicals.
  21. (slang) HIV positive.
    • quoted in 2013, William I. Johnston, HIV-Negative: How the Uninfected Are Affected by AIDS (page 145)
      We certainly told him at that time that I was negative. We talked about transmission. We told him we don't do anything that would cause me to become positive.
  22. (New Age jargon) Good, desirable, healthful, pleasant, enjoyable; (often precedes 'energy', 'thought', 'feeling' or 'emotion').
    • 2009, Christopher Johns, Becoming a Reflective Practitioner, John Wiley & Sons, p. 15
      Negative feelings can be worked through and their energy converted into positive energy... In crisis, normal patterns of self-organization fail, resulting in anxiety (negative energy). Being open systems, people can exchange this energy with the environment and create positive energy for taking action...

Derived terms

 

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun

positive (plural positives)

  1. A thing capable of being affirmed; something real or actual.
    • 1692–1717, Robert South, Twelve Sermons Preached upon Several Occasions, volume (please specify |volume=I to VI), 6th edition, London: [] J[ames] Bettenham, for Jonah Bowyer, [], published 1727, OCLC 21766567:
      rating Positives by their Privatives
  2. A favourable point or characteristic.
  3. Something having a positive value in physics, such as an electric charge.
  4. (grammar) A degree of comparison of adjectives and adverbs.
  5. (grammar) An adjective or adverb in the positive degree.
  6. (photography) A positive image; one that displays true colors and shades, as opposed to a negative.
  7. The positive plate of a voltaic or electrolytic cell.
  8. A positive result of a test.

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Danish positive definition

Adjective

positive

  1. inflection of positiv:
    1. definite singular
    2. plural

French positive definition

Pronunciation

Adjective

positive

  1. feminine singular of positif

Verb

positive

  1. inflection of positiver:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative

German positive definition

Pronunciation

Adjective

positive

  1. inflection of positiv:
    1. strong/mixed nominative/accusative feminine singular
    2. strong nominative/accusative plural
    3. weak nominative all-gender singular
    4. weak accusative feminine/neuter singular

Italian positive definition

Adjective

positive

  1. feminine plural of positivo

Anagrams


Latin positive definition

Pronunciation

Adjective

positīve

  1. vocative masculine singular of positīvus

Norwegian Bokmål positive definition

Adjective

positive

  1. definite singular of positiv
  2. plural of positiv

Norwegian Nynorsk positive definition

Adjective

positive

  1. definite singular of positiv
  2. plural of positiv

Spanish positive definition

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /posiˈtibe/, [po.siˈt̪i.β̞e]

Verb

positive

  1. inflection of positivar:
    1. first-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular present subjunctive
    3. third-person singular imperative

Swedish positive definition

Adjective

positive

  1. absolute definite natural masculine singular of positiv.