positive

adjective
pos·​i·​tive | \ ˈpä-zə-tiv , 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 , for emphasis often  ˌpä-​zə-​ˈtiv-​ \ adverb
positiveness \ ˈpä-​zə-​tiv-​nəs , 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

While the ads may have reflected a societal anxiety or disruption, their tone was largely positive. Alexandra Bruell, WSJ, "Robots’ Lead Role in Super Bowl Ads Hint at Tech Anxieties," 4 Feb. 2019 Victoria’s Secret believes the body positivity dialogue should be positive. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Body-Positive Influencers Respond to the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show With Their Own Lingerie Photos," 3 Dec. 2018 After all the positive reception from industry heavyweights such as the SAE and Ricardo, the only hurdle left is for REDA is to convince someone to build it. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "The Rhombus Rotary Engine: Can a Quirky New Design Top the Famous Wankel?," 18 Jan. 2019 United in particular had a positive message for the wider U.S. stock market: Business bookings—large corporate accounts and travel agencies—were up 11% in the first week of the year. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "Flight Bookings Suggest U.S. Growth Is Still Ahead," 17 Jan. 2019 Responses to the book have been overwhelmingly positive. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Michelle Obama Got the Best News About Her Book 'Becoming' On Her Birthday," 17 Jan. 2019 Chromo therapy, or color therapy, is the increasingly popular practice of using color to stimulate positive emotion and improve mental health. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "14 Calming Paint Colors That Will Change the Way You Live," 9 Jan. 2019 Lujan highlighted the victory of Antonio Delgado in New York as an example of how a Latino candidate won by keeping a positive message even when facing racist attacks. Luis Alonso Lugo, The Seattle Times, "Dems: Latino turnout up 174 percent over ’14 in early voting," 13 Nov. 2018 Reindeer in Here is a new toy all about spreading a positive holiday message — without requiring family members to dream up new, elaborate poses every day for four weeks. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "This New "Reindeer in Here" Toy Is the More Positive Version of Your Christmas Elf," 23 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There’s something that drives positives and negatives. Courtney Lund O’neil, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Serial Killer, a Receipt, and My Mom: Haunted by the Murder of 33 Boys," 31 Oct. 2018 Some concerns Presentations made at a series of meetings in late September and early October highlight some of the positives and negatives with the new model. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NOAA is about to make some big changes to its global weather model," 24 Oct. 2018 But, as Wollack points out, there are plenty of positives that can stem from a split. Elizabeth Kiefer, Glamour, "How to Get Divorced," 30 Nov. 2018 But in this case, the accuracy went up as false positives went down. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "AIs trained to help with sepsis treatment, fracture diagnosis," 27 Oct. 2018 Highlighted by tight end George Kittle’s five catches for 90 yards, there was enough production by the 49ers to take some positives into their home opener against Detroit next week. Fox News, "Jimmy Garoppolo takes loss, as 49ers fall to Vikings 24-16," 10 Sep. 2018 Today, only a small majority of Facebook employees says the company is a net positive for the world. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s morale problem is getting worse," 6 Dec. 2018 For most banks, Federal Reserve rate increases are still a net positive as rates on business and credit-card loans move higher faster than deposit rates. Aaron Back, WSJ, "American Banks: Higher Rates Aren’t So Bad," 12 Oct. 2018 But when asked about tech firms’ impact on society as a whole, a smaller minority (63 percent) said the impact has been a net positive. Ryan Suppe, USA TODAY, "Most conservatives think tech companies are politically biased, Pew Research survey finds," 28 June 2018

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

8 Feb 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 \

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 \

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-​ \ 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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