I. adjective Date: 15th century 1. a. marked by denial, prohibition, or refusal <
received a negative answer
; also marked by absence, withholding, or removal of something positive <
the negative motivation of shame — Garrett Hardin
b. (1) denying a predicate of a subject or a part of a subject <
“no A is B” is a negative proposition
(2) denoting the absence or the contradictory of something <
nontoxic is a negative term
(3) expressing negation <
negative particles such as no and not
c. adverse, unfavorable <
the reviews were mostly negative
2. a. lacking positive qualities; especially disagreeable b. marked by features of hostility, withdrawal, or pessimism that hinder or oppose constructive treatment or development <
a negative outlook
negative criticism
c. promoting a person or cause by criticizing or attacking the competition <
ran a negative campaign
negative advertising
3. a. (1) less than zero and opposite in sign to a positive number that when added to the given number yields zero <
-2 is a negative number
(2) having more outgo than income ; constituting a loss <
negative cash flow
negative worth
b. extending or generated in a direction opposite to an arbitrarily chosen regular direction or position <
negative angle
4. a. being, relating to, or charged with electricity of which the electron is the elementary unit b. having more electrons than protons <
a negative ion
c. (1) having lower electric potential and constituting the part toward which the current flows from the external circuit <
the negative pole
(2) being the electron-emitting electrode of an electron tube 5. a. not affirming the presence of a condition, substance, or organism suspected to be present; also having a test result indicating the absence especially of a condition, substance, or organism <
she is HIV negative
b. directed or moving away from a source of stimulation <
negative tropism
c. less than the pressure of the atmosphere <
negative pressure
6. having the light and dark parts in approximately inverse relation to those of the original photographic subject 7. of a lens diverging light rays and forming a virtual inverted image • negatively adverbnegativeness nounnegativity noun II. noun Date: 1571 1. a. (1) a reply that indicates the withholding of assent ; refusal (2) archaic a right of veto (3) obsolete an adverse vote ; veto b. a proposition which denies or contradicts another; especially the one of a pair of propositions in which negation is expressed 2. a. something that is the opposite or negation of something else b. drawback, liability 3. a. an expression (as the word no) of negation or denial b. a negative number 4. the side that upholds the contradictory proposition in a debate 5. a negative photographic image on transparent material used for printing positive pictures; also the material that carries such an image 6. a reverse impression taken from a piece of sculpture or ceramics 7. a negative result (as of a test) <
a high rate of false negatives
; also a test yielding such a result III. transitive verb (-tived; -tiving) Date: 1706 1. a. to refuse assent to b. to reject by or as if by a vote 2. to demonstrate the falsity of 3. to deny the truth, reality, or validity of 4. neutralize, counteract

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Negative — Neg a*tive (n[e^]g [.a]*t[i^]v), a. [F. n[ e]gatif, L. negativus, fr. negare to deny. See {Negation}.] 1. Denying; implying, containing, or asserting denial, negation or refusal; returning the answer no to an inquiry or request; refusing assent;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • negative — [neg′ə tiv] adj. [ME negatife < OFr or L: OFr négatif < L negativus < negatus: see NEGATION] 1. containing, expressing, or implying a denial or refusal; that says “no” [a negative reply] 2. opposite to something regarded as positive;… …   English World dictionary

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  • négative — ● négative nom féminin Énoncé par lequel on refuse quelque chose, on soutient qu une chose est fausse, on persiste dans un refus : Répondre par la négative. ● négative (expressions) nom féminin Dans la négative, dans le cas d un refus. ● négatif …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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