[poz-i-tiv] /ˈpɒz ɪ tɪv/
explicitly stated, stipulated, or expressed:
a positive acceptance of the agreement.
admitting of no question:
stated; express; 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; absolute.
Informal. downright; out-and-out:
She’s a positive genius.
determined by enactment or convention; arbitrarily laid down:
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.
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 ):
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.
of, relating to, or noting the north pole of a magnet.
Chemistry. (of an element or group) tending to lose electrons and become positively charged; basic.
Grammar. being, noting, or pertaining to the initial degree of the comparison of adjectives and adverbs, as the positive form good.
Compare (def 4), (def 2).
Mathematics. noting a quantity greater than zero.
(of government) assuming control or regulation of activities beyond those involved merely with the maintenance of law and order.
Biology. oriented or moving toward the focus of excitation:
a positive tropism.
Photography. denoting a print or transparency showing the brightness values as they are in the subject.
Machinery. noting or pertaining to a process or machine part having a fixed or certain operation, especially as the result of elimination of play, free motion, etc.:
a positive quality or characteristic.
a positive quantity or symbol.
Photography. a positive image, as on a print or transparency.
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
independent of circumstances; absolute or unqualified
(prenominal) (informal) (intensifier): a positive delight
(grammar) denoting the usual form of an adjective as opposed to its comparative or superlative form
(biology) indicating movement or growth towards a particular stimulus
short for electropositive
(of a lens) capable of causing convergence of a parallel beam of light
(med) (of the results of an examination or test) indicating the existence or presence of a suspected disorder or pathogenic organism
(med) (of the effect of a drug or therapeutic regimen) beneficial or satisfactory
short for Rh positive
(of a machine part) having precise motion with no hysteresis or backlash
(mainly US) (of a government) directly involved in activities beyond the minimum maintenance of law and order, such as social welfare or the organization of scientific research
(economics) of or denoting an analysis that is free of ethical, political, or value judgments
(astrology) of, relating to, or governed by the group of signs of the zodiac that belong to the air and fire classifications, which are associated with a self-expressive spontaneous nature
something that is positive
(maths) a quantity greater than zero
(photog) a print or slide showing a photographic image whose colours or tones correspond to those of the original subject
(grammar) the positive degree of an adjective or adverb
a positive object, such as a terminal or plate in a voltaic cell
early 14c., originally a legal term meaning “formally laid down,” from Old French positif (13c.) and directly from Latin positivus “settled by agreement, positive” (opposed to naturalis “natural”), from positus, past participle of ponere “put, place” (see position (n.)).
Sense of “absolute” is from mid-15c. Meaning in philosophy of “dealing only with facts” is from 1590s. Sense broadened to “expressed without qualification” (1590s), then “confident in opinion” (1660s); mathematical use is from 1704; in electricity, 1755. Psychological sense of “concentrating on what is constructive and good” is recorded from 1916.
1520s, from positive (adj.).
positive pos·i·tive (pŏz’ĭ-tĭv)
pos’i·tive·ness or pos’i·tiv’i·ty n.
noun 1. a small pipe organ of the Middle Ages. 2. a section of a pipe organ having mostly flue stops.
- Positive polarity
noun 1. (grammar) the grammatical characteristic of a word or phrase, such as delicious or rather, that may normally only be used in a semantically or syntactically positive or affirmative context
noun, Physics. 1. a stream of positive ions traveling from a metallic anode to the cathode in a gas-discharge tube.
- Positive reinforcement
noun the offering of desirable effects or consequences for a behavior with the intention of increasing the chance of that behavior being repeated in the future