positive

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈpɒzɪtɪv/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: po‧si‧tive

Adjective[edit]

positive (comparative more positive, superlative most positive)

  1. (law) Formally laid down. [from the 14th c.]
    • Hooker
      In laws, that which is natural bindeth universally; that which is positive, not so.
  2. Stated definitively and without qualification. [from the 16th c.]
    • Francis Bacon:
      Positive words, that he would not bear arms against King Edward’s son.
  3. Fully assured in opinion. [from the 17th c.]
    • I’m absolutely positive you've spelt that wrong.
  4. (mathematics) Of number, greater than zero. [from the 18th c.]
  5. Characterized by constructiveness or influence for the better.
  6. Overconfident, dogmatic.
    • Alexander Pope:
      Some positive, persisting fops we know, That, if once wrong, will needs be always so.
  7. (chiefly philosophy) Actual, real, concrete, not theoretical or speculative.
  8. (physics) Having more protons than electrons.
    • A cation is a positive ion as it has more protons than electrons.
  9. (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’.
  10. Derived from an object by itself; not dependent on changing circumstances or relations; absolute.
    • The idea of beauty is not positive, but depends on the different tastes of individuals.
  11. 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.
  12. Characterized by the presence of features which support a hypothesis.
    • The results of our experiment are positive.
  13. (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.
  14. Favorable, desirable by those interested or invested in that which is being judged.
    • The first-night reviews were largely positive.
  15. Wholly what is expressed; colloquially downright, entire, outright.
    • Good lord, you've built up a positive arsenal of weaponry here.
  16. Optimistic. [from the 20th c.]
    • He has a positive outlook on life.
  17. (chemistry) electropositive
  18. (chemistry) basic; metallic; not acid; opposed to negative, and said of metals, bases, and basic radicals.
  19. (slang) HIV positive.
  20. (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...

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

positive (plural positives)

  1. A thing capable of being affirmed; something real or actual.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of South to this entry?)
  2. A favourable point or characteristic.
  3. Something having a positive value in physics, such as an electric charge.
  4. (grammar) An adjective or adverb in the positive degree.
  5. (photography) A positive image; one that displays true colors and shades, as opposed to a negative.
  6. The positive plate of a voltaic or electrolytic cell.

Translations[edit]

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 Help:How to check translations.

Danish[edit]

Adjective[edit]

positive

  1. definite and plural of positiv

French[edit]

Adjective[edit]

positive

  1. feminine form of positif

Verb[edit]

positive

  1. first-person singular present indicative of positiver
  2. third-person singular present indicative of positiver
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of positiver
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of positiver
  5. second-person singular imperative of positiver

German[edit]

Adjective[edit]

positive

  1. inflected form of positiv

Italian[edit]

Adjective[edit]

positive f pl

  1. feminine plural of positivo

Anagrams[edit]


Latin[edit]

Adjective[edit]

positīve

  1. vocative masculine singular of positīvus

Swedish[edit]

Adjective[edit]

positive

  1. absolute definite natural masculine form of positiv.