Positive
Positive Pos"i*tive, a. [OE. positif, F. positif, L. positivus. See {Position}.] 1. Having a real position, existence, or energy; existing in fact; real; actual; -- opposed to negative. ``Positive good.'' --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

2. Derived from an object by itself; not dependent on changing circumstances or relations; absolute; -- opposed to relative; as, the idea of beauty is not positive, but depends on the different tastes individuals. [1913 Webster]

3. Definitely laid down; explicitly stated; clearly expressed; -- opposed to implied; as, a positive declaration or promise. [1913 Webster]

Positive words, that he would not bear arms against King Edward's son. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

4. Hence: Not admitting of any doubt, condition, qualification, or discretion; not dependent on circumstances or probabilities; not speculative; compelling assent or obedience; peremptory; indisputable; decisive; as, positive instructions; positive truth; positive proof. ``'T is positive 'gainst all exceptions.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

5. Prescribed by express enactment or institution; settled by arbitrary appointment; said of laws. [1913 Webster]

In laws, that which is natural bindeth universally; that which is positive, not so. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

6. Fully assured; confident; certain; sometimes, overconfident; dogmatic; overbearing; -- said of persons. [1913 Webster]

Some positive, persisting fops we know, That, if once wrong, will needs be always. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

7. Having the power of direct action or influence; as, a positive voice in legislation. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

8. (Photog.) Corresponding with the original in respect to the position of lights and shades, instead of having the lights and shades reversed; as, a positive picture. [1913 Webster]

9. (Chem.) (a) Electro-positive. (b) Hence, basic; metallic; not acid; -- opposed to {negative}, and said of metals, bases, and basic radicals. [1913 Webster]

10. (Mach. & Mech.) (a) Designating, or pertaining to, a motion or device in which the movement derived from a driver, or the grip or hold of a restraining piece, is communicated through an unyielding intermediate piece or pieces; as, a claw clutch is a positive clutch, while a friction clutch is not. (b) Designating, or pertaining to, a device giving a to-and-fro motion; as, a positive dobby. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

11. (Vehicles) Designating a method of steering or turning in which the steering wheels move so that they describe concentric arcs in making a turn, to insure freedom from side slip or harmful resistance. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

{Positive crystals} (Opt.), a doubly refracting crystal in which the index of refraction for the extraordinary ray is greater than for the ordinary ray, and the former is refracted nearer to the axis than the latter, as quartz and ice; -- opposed to negative crystal, or one in which this characteristic is reversed, as Iceland spar, tourmaline, etc.

{Positive degree} (Gram.), that state of an adjective or adverb which denotes simple quality, without comparison or relation to increase or diminution; as, wise, noble.

{Positive electricity} (Elec), the kind of electricity which is developed when glass is rubbed with silk, or which appears at that pole of a voltaic battery attached to the plate that is not attacked by the exciting liquid; -- formerly called {vitreous electricity}; -- opposed to {negative electricity}.

{Positive eyepiece}. See under {Eyepiece}.

{Positive law}. See {Municipal law}, under {Law}.

{Positive motion} (Mach.), motion which is derived from a driver through unyielding intermediate pieces, or by direct contact, and not through elastic connections, nor by means of friction, gravity, etc.; definite motion.

{Positive philosophy}. See {Positivism}.

{Positive pole}. (a) (Elec.) The pole of a battery or pile which yields positive or vitreous electricity; -- opposed to {negative pole}. (b) (Magnetism) The north pole. [R.]

{Positive quantity} (Alg.), an affirmative quantity, or one affected by the sign plus [+].

{Positive rotation} (Mech.), left-handed rotation.

{Positive sign} (Math.), the sign [+] denoting plus, or more, or addition. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

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  • positive — pos‧i‧tive [ˈpɒztɪv ǁ ˈpɑːz ] adjective 1. good or useful: • When interest rates fall, there is a positive effect on business confidence. • He felt that these meetings did not make any sort of positive contribution to branch performance. 2.… …   Financial and business terms

  • Positive — is a property of positivity and may refer to: Mathematics and science * Positive number, a number that is greater than 0 * Positive operator, in functional analysis, a bounded linear operator whose spectrum consists of positive real numbers *… …   Wikipedia

  • positive — [päz′ə tiv] adj. [ME positif < OFr < L positivus < positus: see POSITION] 1. formally or arbitrarily set; conventional; artificial [a positive law] 2. definitely set; explicitly laid down; admitting of no question or modification;… …   English World dictionary

  • positive — I (confident) adjective assured, believing, certain, certus, convinced, decided, decisive, definite, determined, fully convinced, insistent, perfectly sure, persuaded, reassured, satisfied, secure, self assured, self confident, sure, trusting,… …   Law dictionary

  • Positive — Pos i*tive, n. 1. That which is capable of being affirmed; reality. South. [1913 Webster] 2. That which settles by absolute appointment. [1913 Webster] 3. (Gram.) The positive degree or form. [1913 Webster] 4. (Photog.) A picture in which the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • positive — c.1300, a legal term meaning formally laid down, from O.Fr. positif (13c.), from L. positivus settled by arbitrary agreement, positive (opposed to naturalis natural ), from positus, pp. of ponere put, place (see POSITION (Cf. position)). Sense… …   Etymology dictionary

  • positive — [adj1] definite, certain absolute, actual, affirmative, assured, categorical, clear, clearcut, cocksure*, cold*, complete, conclusive, concrete, confident, consummate, convinced, decided, decisive, direct, downright, explicit, express, factual,… …   New thesaurus

  • positive — ► ADJECTIVE 1) characterized by the presence rather than the absence of distinguishing features. 2) expressing or implying affirmation, agreement, or permission. 3) constructive, optimistic, or confident. 4) with no possibility of doubt; certain …   English terms dictionary

  • positive — 1 certain, *sure, cocksure Analogous words: *confident, assured, sanguine, sure: dogmatic, doctrinaire, oracular, *dictatorial Antonyms: doubtful 2 *affirmative Antonyms: negative …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • positive — pos|i|tive1 W2S2 [ˈpɔzıtıv US ˈpa: ] adj ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(attitude)¦ 2¦(good thing)¦ 3¦(action)¦ 4¦(support)¦ 5¦(sure)¦ 6¦(sign)¦ 7¦(proof)¦ 8¦(scientific test)¦ 9¦(emphasis)¦ 10¦(number)¦ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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