active

adjective
ac·​tive | \ˈak-tiv \

Definition of active 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : characterized by action rather than by contemplation or speculation an active life

2 : producing or involving action or movement

3a 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 active verbs such as "eat" and "sing"

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

8a : 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 sense 2a, extinct entry 1 sense 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

11a : 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 contra dances or square dances

14 medical : producing active immunity Active immunization against Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough, is now usually achieved with combined pertussis-tetanus-diphtheria (DTP) vaccine.Scientific American Medicine

active

noun
plural actives

Definition of active (Entry 2 of 2)

: an active person : one engaged in an action or activity fraternity alumni and actives We announced in December that Instagram now has over 600 million monthly actives and recently passed 400 million daily actives.— Mark Zuckerberg

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Other Words from active

Adjective

actively adverb
activeness noun

Examples of active in a Sentence

Adjective

We stay active during the cold winter months by skiing and ice skating. We are active members of our church. While many give money to the organization, only a few are active participants. She was politically active as a volunteer for her state representative. They take an active interest in their children's education. He has taken a more active role in the production of this album. the bank's active and inactive accounts
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Donte Jackson and Greedy Williams began the season as starters at outside corner, and Jackson has been more active since his move inside as Kevin Toliver's heath improved from the offseason. Matt Zenitz, AL.com, "Alabama reserve QB Mac Jones arrested for DUI," 3 Nov. 2017 Maybe some, but not all, rodents that harbor disease are active at night. Mark Johnson, jsonline.com, "Can math be used to predict an outbreak?," 2 Nov. 2017 Demarquez, 11, and Samira, 7, enjoy staying active and have a close sibling bond. kansascity, "Active brother and sister want to stay together," 28 Oct. 2017 The billing cycle is still active, and additional money is being collected from vehicle owners who have received invoices. Sheldon S. Shafer, The Courier-Journal, "RiverLink collects $21.7 million in toll revenue in third quarter," 25 Oct. 2017 In other words, in markets where the test is active, Facebook is no longer a free playing field for digital publishers. vanityfair.com, "Facebook Casually Considers Annihilating the Digital Media Industry," 24 Oct. 2017 In other words, in markets where the test is active, Facebook is no longer a free playing field for digital publishers. Maya Kosoff, The Hive, "Facebook Casually Considers Annihilating the Digital Media Industry," 24 Oct. 2017 Land said further information is not available because the cases are active. Carrie Napoleon, Post-Tribune, "Police: 2 arrested in Crown Point raid," 23 Oct. 2017 The 72-year-old is still active in the film industry; his movie The Private Life of a Modern Woman, starring Sienna Miller, premiered at the Venice Film Festival last month. Rebecca Keegan, HWD, "Move Over, Harvey: Here Comes James Toback," 23 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'active.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of active

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for active

Adjective

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin āctīvus, from āctus (past participle of agere "to drive (cattle), cause to move, do") + -īvus -ive — more at agent

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Time Traveler for active

The first known use of active was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for active

active

adjective
ac·​tive | \ˈak-tiv \

Kids Definition of active

1 : producing or involving action or movement Cats are most active at night.

2 : showing that the subject of a sentence is the doer of the action represented by the verb The word “hit” in “they hit the ball” is active.

3 : quick in physical movement : lively an active child

4 : taking part in an action or activity She is active in school athletics.

Other Words from active

actively adverb

active

adjective
ac·​tive | \ˈak-tiv \

Medical Definition of active 

1 : capable of acting or reacting especially in some specific way an active enzyme active nitrogen

2 : tending to progress or to cause degeneration active tuberculosis

3 : exhibiting optical activity

4 : requiring the expenditure of energy active calcium ion uptake

5 : producing active immunity active immunization

Other Words from active

actively adverb

active

adjective
ac·​tive

Legal Definition of active 

1 : characterized or accomplished by action or effort active concealment — compare passive

2 : engaged or participating in action or activity paying child support but not otherwise an active parent

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More from Merriam-Webster on active

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with active

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for active

Spanish Central: Translation of active

Nglish: Translation of active for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of active for Arabic Speakers

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