adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French actif, from Latin activus, from actus, past participle of agere to drive, do — more at agent Date: 14th century 1. characterized by action rather than by contemplation or speculation <
an active life
2. producing or involving action or movement 3. a. of a verb form or voice asserting that the person or thing represented by the grammatical subject performs the action represented by the verb <
hits in “he hits the ball” is active
b. expressing action as distinct from mere existence or state 4. quick in physical movement ; lively 5. marked by vigorous activity ; busy <
the stock market was active
6. requiring vigorous action or exertion <
active sports
7. having practical operation or results ; effective <
an active law
8. a. disposed to action ; energetic <
took an active interest
b. engaged in an action or activity <
an active club member
c. of a volcano currently erupting or likely to erupt — compare dormant 2a, extinct 1b d. characterized by emission of large amounts of electromagnetic energy <
an active galactic nucleus
9. engaged in full-time service especially in the armed forces <
active duty
10. marked by present operation, transaction, movement, or use <
an active account
11. a. capable of acting or reacting ; reacting readily <
active nitrogen
active ingredients
b. tending to progress or to cause degeneration <
active tuberculosis
c. of an electronic circuit element capable of controlling voltages or currents d. (1) requiring the expenditure of energy <
active calcium ion uptake
(2) functioning by the emission of radiant energy or sound <
radar is an active sensor
12. still eligible to win the pot in poker 13. moving down the line ; visiting in the set — used of couples in contredanses or square dances • active nounactively adverbactiveness noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

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