Definition of passive
- the passive voice
- passive exercise of a paralyzed leg
- a passive solar house
- passive sonar
- passive support
“Hits” in “She hits the ball” is active, while “hit” in “The ball was hit” is passive.
In “He was hit by the ball,” “hit” is a passive verb.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'passive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
—used to describe someone who allows things to happen or who accepts what other people do or decide without trying to change anything
grammar of a verb or voice : showing that the subject of a sentence is acted on or affected by the verb
: containing a passive verb form
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