- Negative Neg"a*tive (n[e^]g"[.a]*t[i^]v), n. [Cf. F.
1. A proposition by which something is denied or forbidden; a
conception or term formed by prefixing the negative
particle to one which is positive; an opposite or
contradictory term or conception.
2. A word used in denial or refusal; as, not, no. [1913 Webster]
Note: In Old England two or more negatives were often joined together for the sake of emphasis, whereas now such expressions are considered ungrammatical, being chiefly heard in iliterate speech. A double negative is now sometimes used as nearly or quite equivalent to an affirmative. [1913 Webster]
No wine ne drank she, neither white nor red. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]
These eyes that never did nor never shall So much as frown on you. --Shak. [1913 Webster]
3. The refusal or withholding of assents; veto. [1913 Webster]
4. That side of a question which denies or refuses, or which is taken by an opposing or denying party; the relation or position of denial or opposition; as, the question was decided in the negative. [1913 Webster]
5. (Photog.) A picture upon glass or other material, in which the light portions of the original are represented in some opaque material (usually reduced silver), and the dark portions by the uncovered and transparent or semitransparent ground of the picture. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.