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 positive (audio) , for emphasis often  ˌpä-​zə-​ˈtiv-​ \ adverb
positiveness \ ˈpä-​zə-​tiv-​nəs How to pronounce positive (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 On Tuesday, Nationals manager Dave Martinez pulled shortstop Trea Turner from their game against the Phillies, after testing positive for Covid-19. Homero De La Fuente, CNN, 28 July 2021 While marijuana is now legal in several state, runner Sha'Carri Richardson was suspended for one month after testing positive for the drug and was subsequently not chosen for the Olympic team. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 28 July 2021 State Representative Jake Ellzey, who narrowly missed capturing the Republican nomination for the seat in 2018, defeated Susan Wright, whose husband, Ron Wright, died in February about two weeks after testing positive for the coronavirus. BostonGlobe.com, 28 July 2021 Two Bills players, left tackle Dion Dawkins and guard Ike Boettger, missed the start of camp after testing positive for the coronavirus. ... Mark Ludwiczak, Star Tribune, 28 July 2021 Their victory comes after the women's team lost Katie Lou Samuelson, who had to sit out this year's games after testing positive for COVID-19 just before the start of the tournament. Greta Bjornson, PEOPLE.com, 28 July 2021 Then there’s the COVID of it all: more than 1,000 infections traced to a Dutch music festival, a Foo Fighters’ team member testing positive, talk of possible new shutdowns and cancellations in response to the Delta variant. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 27 July 2021 Ravens running back Gus Edwards will miss the start of training camp after testing positive for COVID-19, ESPN reported Tuesday. Daniel Oyefusi, baltimoresun.com, 27 July 2021 One golfer who had his heart set on being there but won't be after testing positive for COVID-19 is former Arizona State golfer Jon Rahm of Spain. Todd Kelly, The Arizona Republic, 27 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Without getting into the dizzying science of 25 picograms per milliliter of betamethasone, the split-sample result, just know that the reading exceeds the initial positive. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 June 2021 Ronald Reagan had the best rating, a net positive of 54 points, followed by George H.W. Bush at 49 points and Jimmy Carter at 45 points. BostonGlobe.com, 25 Apr. 2021 Among Jewish voters in Florida, Biden is viewed favorably by 67% and unfavorably by 26%, a net positive of 41 percentage points. Anthony Man, sun-sentinel.com, 21 Oct. 2020 The other positive to Louisville's depth is the fact that the Cardinals will be fairly rested for the championship game. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, 6 Mar. 2021 While the game went on as scheduled, as the potential positive was from among the staff ranks, the four-hour flight from Minneapolis to SoCal cast some concern about the immediate future. Megan Ryan, Star Tribune, 16 Apr. 2021 No matter how the Spurs’ season finishes over the final five weeks, Murray’s clear leap forward remains an unabashed positive. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 9 Apr. 2021 Spending an evening watching a show or movie virtually with friends can be an excellent way to socialize during these difficult times, making the activity a net positive. Popular Science, 12 Jan. 2021 The Stars conducted training camp in July without a single positive. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, 8 Jan. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near positive

positival

positive

positive acceleration

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Statistics for positive

Last Updated

30 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Positive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/positive. Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

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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 positive (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

More from Merriam-Webster on positive

Nglish: Translation of positive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of positive for Arabic Speakers

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