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adjective pos·i·tive \ˈpä-zə-tiv, ˈpäz-tiv\

Simple Definition of positive

  • : good or useful

  • : thinking about the good qualities of someone or something : thinking that a good result will happen : hopeful or optimistic

  • : completely certain or sure that something is correct or true

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of positive

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 7 of a lens :  converging light rays and forming a real inverted image

  8. 8 a :  having a good effect :  favorable <a positive role model> b :  marked by optimism <the positive point of view>

positively play \-lē, for emphasis often ˌpä-zə-ˈtiv-\ adverb
positiveness play \ˈpä-zə-tiv-nəs, ˈpäz-tiv-\ noun

Examples of positive in a sentence

  1. The book had a positive influence on me.

  2. He has been a positive role model for his brother.

  3. Nothing positive came out of that experience.

  4. What are some of the positive things about your job?

  5. The low unemployment rate is a positive sign for the economy.

  6. The company took positive steps to create a safer workplace.

  7. You've got to have a positive attitude to do well in life.

  8. You should try to be more positive about the whole situation.

  9. On the positive side, you will be making more money.

  10. To end on a positive note, we are seeing an increase in sales this month.

Origin of positive

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin positivus, from positus, past participle of ponere

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of positive

sure, certain, positive, cocksure mean having no doubt or uncertainty. sure usually stresses the subjective or intuitive feeling of assurance <felt sure that I had forgotten something>. certain may apply to a basing of a conclusion or conviction on definite grounds or indubitable evidence <police are certain about the cause of the fire>. positive intensifies sureness or certainty and may imply opinionated conviction or forceful expression of it <I'm positive that's the person I saw>. cocksure implies presumptuous or careless positiveness <you're always so cocksure about everything>.



noun pos·i·tive

Simple Definition of positive

  • : something that is good or useful

  • : the result from a test that shows that a particular germ, condition, or substance is present

  • : a photograph that shows light and dark areas or colors as they look in real life

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of positive

  1. :  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

Examples of positive in a sentence

  1. The positives of living in the city include access to public transportation and many interesting restaurants.

  2. The test showed a positive.


First Known Use of positive


POSITIVE Defined for Kids



adjective pos·i·tive \ˈpä-zə-tiv\

Definition of positive for Students

  1. 1 :  fully confident :  certain <I'm positive that I will win.>

  2. 2 :  having a real or beneficial effect or result <They took positive action.> <I had a positive experience.>

  3. 3 :  beyond doubt :  unquestionable <positive proof>

  4. 4 :  showing acceptance or approval <a positive response>

  5. 5 :  thinking of good qualities or possibilities :  optimistic <a positive attitude>

  6. 6 :  being greater than zero and often shown by a plus sign <2 or +2 is a positive number.>

  7. 7 :  being or relating to electricity of a kind that is produced in a glass rod rubbed with silk <a positive charge>

  8. 8 :  having more protons than electrons <a positive particle>

  9. 9 :  being the part from which the electric current flows to the external circuit <the positive pole of a storage battery>

  10. 10 :  showing the presence of what is looked for or suspected to be present <The test for strep throat was positive.>

  11. 11 :  relating to or having the form of an adjective or adverb that shows no degree of comparison

positively adverb



noun pos·i·tive

Definition of positive for Students

  1. 1 :  a good or useful feature or quality <There are many positives of living in the country.>

  2. 2 :  the degree or a form of an adjective or adverb that shows no comparison

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