negative

adjective
neg·a·tive | \ ˈne-gə-tiv \

Definition of negative 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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 (see predicate entry 1 sense 1a) 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

2a : lacking positive qualities especially : disagreeable a colorless negative personality

b : marked by features of hostility, withdrawal, or pessimism (see pessimism sense 1) 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

3a(1) : less than zero and opposite in sign to a positive (see positive entry 1 sense 4e) 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

4a : 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 (see potential entry 1 sense 2b) and constituting the part toward which the current (see current entry 2 sense 3) flows from the external circuit the negative pole

(2) : being the electron-emitting electrode (see electrode sense 2) of an electron tube

5a : 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 : having the light and dark parts in approximately inverse (see inverse entry 1 sense 1) relation to those of the original photographic subject

7 of a lens : diverging (see diverge sense 1) light rays and forming a virtual inverted image

negative

noun

Definition of negative (Entry 2 of 3)

1a(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

2a : something that is the opposite or negation of something else

b : drawback, liability

3a : an expression (such as the word no) of negation or denial

b : a negative number

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

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

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

7 : a negative result (as of a test) a high rate of false negatives also : a test yielding such a result

in the negative

: with a negative reply : with a reply that means "no" He answered in the negative.

negative

verb
negatived; negativing

Definition of negative (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to refuse assent to

b : to reject by or as if by a vote

2 : to demonstrate the falsity of

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

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Other words from negative

Adjective

negatively adverb
negativeness noun
negativity \ˌne-gə-ˈti-və-tē \ noun

Examples of negative in a Sentence

Adjective

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

Noun

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

Verb

although the rebuttal was very eloquent, the jury negatived it in favor of the prosecution's argument we promptly negatived the idea of having pizza again for dinner, noting that we had already had it for three nights that week
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

So a lot of people in Britain have a very negative view of the president. Fox News, "UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on NATO, Russia and Brexit," 13 July 2018 Voters in battleground congressional districts take a slightly more negative view of the situation. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Voters already fear economic pain from Trump's trade war," 9 July 2018 Although only 40% of Europeans have a positive view of the EU—down from 52% in 2007—only 21% have a negative view. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Finding the Right Right for Europe," 5 July 2018 The recent attacks on public education have created an atmosphere that has resulted not only in teachers leaving the state but also in students having a negative view of education in North Carolina. Nancy Webb, charlotteobserver, "Our NC Influencers weigh in on reader education question," 2 July 2018 But not all cultures have seen periods as a curse or a source of shame, proof that negative views of menstruation are societal constructs. Loren Savini, Allure, "Breaking the Cycle: Meet the People Who Are Fighting to End Period Stigma," 27 June 2018 But many differ with his negative views of global trade, which has generally been good for the dairy industry. New York Times, "Trump’s Trade War Could Shut Cheesemakers Out of Foreign Markets," 24 June 2018 If any of your employees pulls you aside to air their negative views about this employee, watch out. Anchorage Daily News, "How to recover when an office confrontation turns into the showdown at the O.K. Corral," 24 June 2018 The chamber’s report takes a more negative view of the measure than a similar independent report released earlier this month by the city. Phil Diehl, sandiegouniontribune.com, "New study says SOAR initiative would hurt housing, jobs," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Nor have scholars found a cache of negatives and prints—as happened with Thomas Eakins —revealing avid experimentation in private. Richard B. Woodward, WSJ, "‘Winslow Homer and the Camera: Photography and the Art of Painting’ Review: An Unclear Creative Influence," 4 July 2018 Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets, says for too long investors have focused on the negatives and not on what is going right in the U.S. economy. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "401(k) investors: What are the risks and rewards for the rest of 2018," 2 July 2018 Boxes of negatives and prints that had been returned to San Antonio Academy after the portrait studio closed were discovered a few years ago during a remodeling project. Paula Allen, San Antonio Express-News, "Long-forgotten baby photo makes its way home," 28 Apr. 2018 Just because the photo handouts were generally scrapped by publications, original prints or negatives were often saved in archives or cold storage warehouses. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "These Rare NASA Photos Were Saved From the Trash," 11 Apr. 2018 Unclear test results could lead to confusion and anxiety – false negatives and false positives are possible. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Understanding prostate cancer screening and what comes next," 20 Mar. 2018 The negatives and images lay quietly in boxes and the world outside changes. Maxwell Williams, The Hollywood Reporter, "Matthew Modine Revisits 'Full Metal Jacket' Photos for L.A. Art Show," 9 Jan. 2018 In the studies she was involved with, there were no negatives to turmeric use, but that may not be the case. Doug Williams, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Turmeric: superfood or superhype," 25 June 2018 For all of Stephenson's benefits, however, there were negatives. Clifton Brown, Indianapolis Star, "How the Pacers cut Lance Stephenson and he signed to play with LeBron James," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'negative.' 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 negative

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1571, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

1706, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for negative

Adjective

Middle English negatyff, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French negatif, borrowed from Latin negātīvus "(of legal actions) restraining, (of words) denying," from negātus (past participle of negāre "to say no, deny") + -īvus -ive

Noun

Middle English negatif "negative command, prohibition," borrowed from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French negative, borrowed from Late Latin negātīva "negative command or statement," from feminine of Latin negātīvus "(of legal actions) restraining, (of words) denying" — more at negative entry 1

Verb

derivative of negative entry 1

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Phrases Related to negative

false negative

negative equity

Statistics for negative

Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for negative

The first known use of negative was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for negative

negative

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of negative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

negative

noun

English Language Learners Definition of negative (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

negative

adjective
neg·a·tive | \ ˈne-gə-tiv \

Kids Definition of negative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : emphasizing the bad side of a person, situation, or thing a negative attitude Whenever I ask her how she's doing, her reply is negative.

2 : not positive His test results came back negative.

3 : less than zero and shown by a minus sign −2 is a negative number.

4 : being the part toward which the electric current flows from the outside circuit the negative pole of a storage battery

5 : of, being, or relating to electricity of which the electron is the unit and which is produced in a hard rubber rod that has been rubbed with wool a negative charge

6 : having more electrons than protons a negative particle

Other words from negative

negatively adverb
negativity \ˌne-gə-ˈti-və-tē \ noun

negative

noun

Kids Definition of negative (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a part of something which is harmful or bad Consider the negatives of quitting school.

2 : an expression (as the word no) that denies or says the opposite

3 : the side that argues or votes against something

4 : a photographic image on film from which a final picture is made

negative

adjective
neg·a·tive | \ ˈneg-ət-iv \

Medical Definition of negative 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : marked by denial, prohibition, or refusal received a negative answer

2 : marked by features (as hostility, withdrawal, or pessimism) that hinder or oppose constructive treatment or development a negative outlook

3a : being, relating to, or charged with electricity of which the electron is the elementary unit

b : having more electrons than protons negative ions

c(1) : having lower electrical 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

4a : 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

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

Other words from negative

negatively adverb

negative

noun

Medical Definition of negative (Entry 2 of 2)

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

2 : a negative result (as of a test) also : a test yielding such a result

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Comments on negative

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