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

More people are downloading the app, and the majority of reviews in the App Store are positive. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Jimmy Fallon and Tony Hawk are on board," 15 Nov. 2018 Vapor chamber Gordon grilled Razer over the new cooling design in the Razer Phone 2, and his first impressions are positive. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Razer Phone 2 hands-on: The first gaming phone gets better," 10 Oct. 2018 Rewards: If Chinese tariffs on American goods are lowered as a result of successful negotiations, the long-term effect could be positive for U.S. workers. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Trade wars are damaging, so why is Trump fighting one with China?," 13 July 2018 Recently, researchers have used a smaller version of the scanner in studies of cancer, bone and joint health, with positive results. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Check Out These Awesome New 3D, Full-Color X-Rays," 13 July 2018 Top 10 companies who’ve had a positive impact for Democrats and Republicans according to a Fortune and SurveyMonkey poll. Grace Donnelly, Fortune, "These Are the Fortune 500 Companies Loved by Both Urban and Rural America," 11 July 2018 The summit will feature sessions with body-positive activist Ashley Graham, Today co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, singer-songwriter Halsey, along with many more inspiring women. Glamour, "Follow Glamour's 2018 Women of the Year Summit Live," 11 Nov. 2018 The segment ended on a positive note, with Crenshaw taking a moment to recognize the memory of Pete’s father, a firefighter who died during the 9/11 attacks. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Lieutenant Commander Dan Crenshaw Joins Pete Davidson on "Saturday Night Live"," 11 Nov. 2018 Younger Americans have benefited most from positive income gains, while older consumers were more likely to complain about falling living standards because of inflation. Sharon Nunn, WSJ, "Consumers Poised to Pick Up Spending Heading Into Holiday Season," 9 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Unfortunately, for the many positives the Vantage offers, there are also some serious issues. Nick Statt, The Verge, "The Scuf Vantage reimagines the PS4 controller, but with some big flaws," 18 Oct. 2018 The positives far outweigh the negatives — because there are no negatives to nationally standardized injury reports. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "It's time for college football, NCAA to embrace injury reports with gambling influence rising," 3 July 2018 Commissioner Doug Austin agreed with Hofman that the positives outweigh the negatives. David Garrick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Hillcrest high-rise touted as model, but critics worry about community character," 12 June 2018 JP Dellacamera has some pretty good ones to share from his time in Russia: pic.twitter.com/eAR59vsLlS The positives outweigh the negatives, though, and by a lot. Jonathan Tannenwald, Philly.com, "JP Dellacamera reflects on calling some of the 2018 World Cup's most dramatic goals," 5 July 2018 Data from facial recognition systems in the U.K., shows the danger of false-positives. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Facial Recognition Used by UK Police Is Alarmingly Bad," 4 May 2018 Phoenix Brophy Prep senior kicker Jackson Garcia felt there were too many positives not to take a spot offered on the University of San Diego's football team. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Brophy Prep kicker Jackson Garcia commits to San Diego," 4 July 2018 There were legitimate scientific questions about whether or not those were truly positives. SI.com, "Exiled by the Cubs, Sammy Sosa Is Enjoying the Life He Wants You to See," 27 June 2018 There are no positives to be taken from the USA missing out on the World Cup for the first time in 32 years, just lessons to be learned. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Christian Pulisic: USMNT missing out on World Cup 'will always hurt'," 12 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

29 Nov 2018

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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