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 More than 11,500 travelers were screened and monitored but just three ended up testing positive, according to a team from the California Department of Public Health. Christina Maxouris And Arman Azad, CNN, "CDC report says NYC coronavirus death toll may be much higher while nationwide count tops 80,000," 12 May 2020 Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova and Construction Minister Vladimir Yakushev, as well as one of his deputies, have also tested positive with the virus. Fox News, "Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov hospitalized with coronavirus: reports," 12 May 2020 More than a hundred LAPD employees, both civilian and sworn, have tested positive for the coronavirus. Cindy Chang, Los Angeles Times, "Policing empty streets amid coronavirus: Cops are killjoys, bearers of goodwill," 11 May 2020 Three facilities have had more than 100 residents test positive. NBC News, "Connecticut launches bold new approach to virus crisis: COVID-19-only nursing homes," 11 May 2020 If a player tests positive, would that team shut down for two weeks, potentially postposing games? oregonlive, "Dr. Anthony Fauci: Coronavirus 'will make the decision for us’ on whether the NFL has a full season in 2020," 11 May 2020 On Friday, a top Mobile County health official said Crowne is far from the only one to have residents test positive. Lawrence Specker | Lspecker@al.com, al, "Death toll up to 23 at hard-hit Mobile nursing home," 9 May 2020 The actual percentage is likely lower because experts say there are many more people who have mild symptoms or none at all but would test positive for COVID if there were greater capacity for testing. John Diedrich, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin near 400 COVID deaths: Men over 70 with health issues; obesity common among younger victims.," 8 May 2020 That being said, some children with Kawasaki disease will test positive for the new coronavirus. Mark Hicar, The Conversation, "A mysterious illness is striking children amid the coronavirus pandemic – but is it Kawasaki disease?," 7 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The New York City Department of Health put out an alert Wednesday warning about false negatives and false positives for antibody tests. NBC News, "What we can (and can't) take away from New York's antibody testing results," 23 Apr. 2020 With four of its cases linked to the Hopkins County church revival, Muhlenberg County was also rocked by Beshear's recent announcement that its Green River Correctional Complex had 10 state inmates and seven staff test positive for COVID-19. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, "Coronavirus hot spots plague Western Kentucky, Southeast Indiana and Northern Tennessee," 10 Apr. 2020 As of yesterday, all three of the manufacturers have each had one employee test positive for COVID-19. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "Ford, FCA, GM Will Shut Down Plants over Coronavirus, AP Reports," 18 Mar. 2020 The newest positives for the novel coronavirus were in Fayette, Montgomery and Nelson counties. USA TODAY, "Drive-thru testing, insufficient gear, school closures: News from around our 50 states," 16 Mar. 2020 The survey reflected positives for census efforts, too, Cohn said. Obed Manuel, Dallas News, "Majority of U.S. adults incorrectly believe 2020 census will ask about citizenship, survey finds," 20 Feb. 2020 But there were positives on Sunday for the Cougars. Ross Dellenger, SI.com, "Jalen Hurts's Oklahoma Debut Was Somehow Better Than Expected," 1 Sep. 2019 After an additional 44 years of engineering, Arkus-Duntov could have seen those those negatives turned into positives for the 2020 Stingray. San Diego Union-Tribune, "2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray debut a moon shot," 23 July 2019 The positives for shareholders come with strings attached: Free cash outflow was $739 million, a significant improvement from the first quarter. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Tesla Profits: Be Careful What You Wish For," 1 Aug. 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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Time Traveler for positive

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for positive

Last Updated

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Positive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/positive. Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for positive

positive

adjective
How to pronounce positive (audio)

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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