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adjective neg·a·tive \ˈne-gə-tiv\

Simple Definition of negative

  • : 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

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 6 :  having the light and dark parts in approximately inverse relation to those of the original photographic subject

  7. 7 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 play \ˌne-gə-ˈti-və-tē\ noun



noun neg·a·tive

Simple Definition of negative

  • : 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

  1. 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. 2 a :  something that is the opposite or negation of something else b :  drawback, liability

  3. 3 a :  an expression (as the word no) of negation or denial b :  a negative number

  4. 4 :  the side that upholds the contradictory proposition in a debate

  5. 5 :  a negative photographic image on transparent material used for printing positive pictures; also :  the material that carries such an image

  6. 6 :  a reverse impression taken from a piece of sculpture or ceramics

  7. 7 :  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




verb neg·a·tive

Definition of negative


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to refuse assent to b :  to reject by or as if by a vote

  3. 2 :  to demonstrate the falsity of

  4. 3 :  to deny the truth, reality, or validity of

  5. 4 :  neutralize, counteract

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


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February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

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