adjective neg·a·tive \ˈne-gə-tiv\

: harmful or bad : not wanted

: thinking about the bad qualities of someone or something : thinking that a bad result will happen : not hopeful or optimistic

: expressing dislike or disapproval

Full Definition of NEGATIVE

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>
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>
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>
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
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>
:  having the light and dark parts in approximately inverse relation to those of the original photographic subject
of a lens :  diverging light rays and forming a virtual inverted image
neg·a·tive·ly adverb
neg·a·tive·ness noun
neg·a·tiv·i·ty \ˌne-gə-ˈti-və-tē\ noun

Examples of NEGATIVE

  1. Car exhaust has a negative effect on the environment.
  2. the negative effects of the drug
  3. The feedback about the new product was all negative.

First Known Use of NEGATIVE

15th century



: something that is harmful or bad

: a word or statement that means “no” or that expresses a denial or refusal

: an image on film that is used to make a printed photograph and that has light areas where the photograph will be dark and dark areas where the photograph will be light; also : the film that has such an image

Full Definition of NEGATIVE

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
a :  something that is the opposite or negation of something else
b :  drawback, liability
a :  an expression (as the word no) of negation or denial
b :  a negative number
:  the side that upholds the contradictory proposition in a debate
:  a negative photographic image on transparent material used for printing positive pictures; also :  the material that carries such an image
:  a reverse impression taken from a piece of sculpture or ceramics
:  a negative result (as of a test) <a high rate of false negatives>; also :  a test yielding such a result

Examples of NEGATIVE

  1. No and not are negatives.
  2. Can I have the negatives to make copies of the photos?

First Known Use of NEGATIVE


Related to NEGATIVE



Definition of NEGATIVE

transitive verb
a :  to refuse assent to
b :  to reject by or as if by a vote
:  to demonstrate the falsity of
:  to deny the truth, reality, or validity of

Examples of NEGATIVE

  1. <although the rebuttal was very eloquent, the jury negatived it in favor of the prosecution's argument>
  2. <we promptly negatived the idea of having pizza again for dinner, noting that we had already had it for three nights that week>

First Known Use of NEGATIVE

May 24, 2015
erudite Hear it
learned or pedantic
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