I. adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Latin passivus, from passus, past participle Date: 14th century 1. a. (1) acted upon by an external agency (2) receptive to outside impressions or influences b. (1) asserting that the grammatical subject of a verb is subjected to or affected by the action represented by that verb <
the passive voice
(2) containing or yielding a passive verb form c. (1) lacking in energy or will ; lethargic (2) tending not to take an active or dominant part d. induced by an outside agency <
passive exercise of a paralyzed leg
2. a. not active or operating ; inert b. of, relating to, or making direct use of the sun's heat usually without the intervention of mechanical devices <
a passive solar house
c. latent d. (1) of, relating to, or characterized by a state of chemical inactivity; especially resistant to corrosion (2) not involving expenditure of chemical energy <
passive transport across a cell membrane
e. of an electronic element exhibiting no gain or control f. relating to the detection of an object through its emission of energy or sound <
passive sonar
3. a. receiving or enduring without resistance ; submissive b. existing or occurring without being active, open, or direct <
passive support
4. of, relating to, or being business activity in which the investor does not actively participate in the generation of income Synonyms: see inactivepassively adverbpassiveness nounpassivity noun II. noun Date: 1530 1. a passive verb form 2. the passive voice of a language

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Passive — Pas sive, a. [L. passivus: cf. F. passif. See {Passion}.] 1. Not active, but acted upon; suffering or receiving impressions or influences; as, they were passive spectators, not actors in the scene. [1913 Webster] The passive air Upbore their… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • passive — pas·sive / pa siv/ adj: not involving, deriving from, or requiring effort or active participation imposed a passive duty not to interfere; specif: of, relating to, or being business activity in which the investor does not have immediate control… …   Law dictionary

  • passive — 1. The passive voice is illustrated by the sentence Brazil were beaten by France in the final, in which the object of the active verb becomes the subject of the passive verb and the subject is expressed as an agent introduced by the preposition… …   Modern English usage

  • Passive — is the opposite of active. It has several specific meanings:* Passive voice of a verb * Passivation is the formation of a non reactive surface film that inhibits further corrosion of a metal * Passive components in electronics * Passive mode in… …   Wikipedia

  • passive — [pas′iv] adj. [ME passif < L passivus < passus: see PASSION] 1. influenced or acted upon without exerting influence or acting in return; inactive, but acted upon 2. offering no opposition or resistance; submissive; yielding; patient 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • passive — (adj.) late 14c., in grammatical sense (opposed to active), from L. passivus capable of feeling or suffering, from pass , pp. stem of pati to suffer (see PASSION (Cf. passion)). Meaning not active is first recorded late 15c. Passive resistance… …   Etymology dictionary

  • passive — ► ADJECTIVE 1) accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance. 2) Grammar (of verbs) in which the subject undergoes the action of the verb (e.g. they were killed as opposed to the active form he killed …   English terms dictionary

  • passive — inactive, inert, idle, supine Analogous words: impassive, phlegmatic, stolid, apathetic Antonyms: active Contrasted words: live, operative, dynamic (see ACTIVE) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • passive — [adj] lifeless, inactive acquiescent, apathetic, asleep, bearing, compliant, cool, docile, enduring, flat, forbearing, going through motions*, hands off*, idle, indifferent, inert, laid back*, latent, long suffering, moony, motionless,… …   New thesaurus

  • passive — As used in law, this term means inactive; permissive; consisting in endurance or submission, rather than action; and in some connections it carries the implication of being subjected to a burden or charge. As to passive debt passive negligence… …   Black's law dictionary

  • passive — [[t]pæ̱sɪv[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If you describe someone as passive, you mean that they do not take action but instead let things happen to them. His passive attitude made things easier for me... Even passive acceptance of the regime… …   English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”