positive

adjective
pos·​i·​tive | \ ˈpä-zə-tiv How to pronounce positive (audio) , ˈpäz-tiv\

Definition of positive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
2a : 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
3a : 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
4a : 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
5a(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
6a : 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 of a lens : converging light rays and forming a real inverted image
8a : having a good effect : favorable a positive role model
b : marked by optimism the positive point of view

positive

noun

Definition of positive (Entry 2 of 2)

: something positive: such 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

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Other Words from positive

Adjective

positively \ ˈpä-​zə-​tiv-​lē How to pronounce positively (audio) , for emphasis often  ˌpä-​zə-​ˈtiv-​ \ adverb
positiveness \ ˈpä-​zə-​tiv-​nəs How to pronounce positiveness (audio) , ˈpäz-​tiv-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for positive

Adjective

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

Examples of positive in a Sentence

Adjective

The book had a positive influence on me. He has been a positive role model for his brother. Nothing positive came out of that experience. What are some of the positive things about your job? The low unemployment rate is a positive sign for the economy. The company took positive steps to create a safer workplace. You've got to have a positive attitude to do well in life. You should try to be more positive about the whole situation. On the positive side, you will be making more money. To end on a positive note, we are seeing an increase in sales this month.

Noun

The positives of living in the city include access to public transportation and many interesting restaurants. The test showed a positive.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Use your intelligence to bring about positive change. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: July 8, 2019," 8 July 2019 In the final days of the World Cup, NWSL announced a television deal with ESPN and a multi-year sponsorship deal with Budweiser, which are both positive steps forward. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "World Cup complete: Now it’s time to grow the professional game here at home," 8 July 2019 This will ensure your ERG truly is inclusive, represents the diversity of your organization, and promotes innovative thought and sustainable positive change and influence. Dear Sam | Expert Resume, al.com, "How can I create an Employee Resource Group at work?," 5 July 2019 So yes, Biden has done a lot in the way of making positive change. Jeneé Osterheldt, BostonGlobe.com, "‘And that little girl was me’: A fighter’s mantra," 5 July 2019 Civil rights attorneys Benjamin Crump and Sue-Ann Robinson in a statement called the prosecutor's decision a positive step. Rosa Flores, CNN, "Broward County deputies charged with misdemeanors in connection with brutal arrest of teenager," 3 July 2019 The response, from the Pendleton Heights community, has been overwhelmingly positive. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Two area schools to offer students free admission to sporting events. Will more follow?," 2 July 2019 Previous proposals by Secretary Ben Carson to tie federal funds to relaxed zoning rules are certainly positive, but haven’t yet translated into action. James P. Sutton, National Review, "YIMBYism Goes National," 1 July 2019 Hazel Park City Manager Ed Klobucher told the Free Press that city officials are excited about the plans and that the MEDC approval is a positive step. Robert Allen, Detroit Free Press, "Battery-maker anticipated to open plant at former Hazel Park Raceway," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Certainly, Green had been mostly unwilling to hold individual positives at or above the level of wins or losses. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Lamet’s return is the positive in another Padres loss to Dodgers," 5 July 2019 But members are convinced that Mr Johnson’s negatives are more than outweighed by his positives. Boris Johnson, The Economist, "Boris Johnson, illusionist," 4 July 2019 Finding positives is exactly what head coach John Beilein is all about. Chris Fedor, cleveland.com, "Dylan Windler, Cleveland Cavaliers cap up-and-down summer league with third straight loss," 3 July 2019 The positives from my Grey Moss experience were matched almost step by step with negatives. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "Zero-star review: Grey Moss Inn falls behind the times northwest of San Antonio," 6 June 2019 As a result, its sensitivity to noise was adjusted to reduce false positives. Jack Gillum, ProPublica, "Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students," 25 June 2019 As a result, its sensitivity to noise was adjusted to reduce false positives. Klint Finley, WIRED, "A Device to Detect 'Aggression' in Schools Often Misfires," 25 June 2019 That’s one of the positives that has come out of what has occurred. John Cherwa, latimes.com, "Santa Anita’s tragic racing season ends Sunday amid an uncertain future," 23 June 2019 Interim head coach Yoann Damet has insisted for weeks that, in spite of lopsided scorelines, there have been many positives to take from the way Cincinnati's been playing. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "Here's everything you need to know for the FC Cincinnati-St. Louis FC US Open Cup match," 18 June 2019

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1530, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for positive

Adjective

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

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Statistics for positive

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for positive

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

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More Definitions for positive

positive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of positive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

positive

noun

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

: 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

positive

adjective
pos·​i·​tive | \ ˈpä-zə-tiv How to pronounce positive (audio) \

Kids Definition of positive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : fully confident : certain I'm positive that I will win.
2 : having a real or beneficial effect or result They took positive action. I had a positive experience.
3 : beyond doubt : unquestionable positive proof
4 : showing acceptance or approval a positive response
5 : thinking of good qualities or possibilities : optimistic a positive attitude
6 : being greater than zero and often shown by a plus sign 2 or +2 is a positive number.
7 : being or relating to electricity of a kind that is produced in a glass rod rubbed with silk a positive charge
8 : having more protons than electrons a positive particle
9 : being the part from which the electric current flows to the external circuit the positive pole of a storage battery
10 : showing the presence of what is looked for or suspected to be present The test for strep throat was positive.
11 : relating to or having the form of an adjective or adverb that shows no degree of comparison

Other Words from positive

positively adverb

positive

noun

Kids Definition of positive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a good or useful feature or quality There are many positives of living in the country.
2 : the degree or a form of an adjective or adverb that shows no comparison

positive

adjective
pos·​i·​tive | \ ˈpäz-ət-iv, ˈpäz-tiv How to pronounce positive (audio) \

Medical Definition of positive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : directed or moving toward a source of stimulation a positive taxis
2 : having rendition of light and shade similar in tone to the tones of the original a positive photographic image
3a(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 electrical 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
4a : marked by or indicating acceptance, approval, or affirmation
b : affirming the presence of that sought or suspected to be present a positive test for blood
5 of a lens : converging light rays and forming a real inverted image

Other Words from positive

positively \ -​lē, for emphasis often ˌpäz-​ə-​ˈtiv-​ \ adverb
positiveness \ ˈpäz-​ət-​iv-​nəs, ˈpäz-​tiv-​ How to pronounce positiveness (audio) \ noun

positive

noun

Medical Definition of positive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a positive photograph or a print from a negative
2 : a positive result (as of a test) also : a test yielding such a result

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More from Merriam-Webster on positive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for positive

Spanish Central: Translation of positive

Nglish: Translation of positive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of positive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on positive

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