I. adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin positivus, from positus, past participle of ponere Date: 14th century 1. a. formally laid down or imposed ; prescribed <
positive laws
b. expressed clearly or peremptorily <
her answer was a positive no
c. fully assured ; confident <
positive it was her book
2. a. of, relating to, or constituting the degree of comparison that is expressed in English by the unmodified and uninflected form of an adjective or adverb and denotes no increase or diminution b. (1) independent of changing circumstances ; unconditioned <
an insurance policy with positive coverage
(2) relating to or constituting a motion or device that is definite, unyielding, constant, or certain in its action <
a positive system of levers
c. (1) incontestable <
positive proof
(2) unqualified <
a positive disgrace
3. a. not fictitious ; real <
positive social tensions
b. active and effective in social or economic function rather than merely maintaining peace and order <
a positive government
4. a. indicating, relating to, or characterized by affirmation, addition, inclusion, or presence rather than negation, withholding, or absence <
took the positive approach and struck a new deal rather than canceling the contract
b. having rendition of light and shade similar in tone to the tones of the original subject <
a positive photographic image
c. contributing toward or characterized by increase or progression <
take some positive action
positive cash flow
d. directed or moving toward a source of stimulation <
a positive taxis
e. real and numerically greater than zero <
+2 is a positive integer
5. a. (1) being, relating to, or charged with electricity of which the proton is the elementary unit and which predominates in a glass body after being rubbed with silk (2) having more protons than electrons <
a positive ion
b. (1) having higher electric potential and constituting the part from which the current flows to the external circuit <
the positive terminal of a discharging storage battery
(2) being an electron-collecting electrode of an electron tube 6. a. marked by or indicating acceptance, approval, or affirmation <
received a positive response
b. affirming the presence especially of a condition, substance, or organism suspected to be present <
a positive test for blood
; also having a test result indicating the presence especially of a condition, substance, or organism <
HIV positive
7. of a lens converging light rays and forming a real inverted image 8. a. having a good effect ; favorable <
a positive role model
b. marked by optimism <
the positive point of view
Synonyms: see surepositively adverbpositiveness noun II. noun Date: 1530 something positive: as a. (1) the positive degree of comparison in a language (2) a positive form of an adjective or adverb b. something of which an affirmation can be made ; reality c. a positive photograph or a print from a negative d. a positive result (as of a test); also a test yielding such a result

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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 — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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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