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 While no players or coaches have tested positive, some members of the team are in isolation due to contact tracing. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky basketball Friday game versus Detroit postponed due to positive COVID-19 test," 24 Nov. 2020 Among the 5,374 children who tested positive, 7% required hospital admissions. From Staff Reports, The Enquirer, "COVID-19: New analysis of 135,000 cases details how disease hits children," 23 Nov. 2020 The county reported that during the Nov. 8-14 period, 1,224 school-age children tested positive for COVID-19. Nataly Keomoungkhoun, Dallas News, "Dallas County reports 1,862 coronavirus cases, 1 death; Tarrant reports 1,537 cases, 6 deaths," 23 Nov. 2020 While Thompson-Robinson had come in close contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus, Dulcich had not. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "Too close for comfort? Why contact tracing sidelined UCLA QB but not his roommate," 23 Nov. 2020 NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported that running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins tested positive for COVID-19 and will be placed on the reserve list. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "NFL COVID-19 updates: Ravens announce multiple individuals tested positive," 23 Nov. 2020 More than 20 residents of the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center have tested positive in the past month, a dramatic increase over the numbers reported at the end of spring and early summer. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Monday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area," 23 Nov. 2020 On Monday, the school announced that only one individual had tested positive for COVID-19 since Nov. 19, but a subsequent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test was negative. Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland football returns to practice, ‘optimistic’ to play Saturday after players test negative for coronavirus," 23 Nov. 2020 In September, The Associated Press found that at least 290 people in 12 states tested positive for the coronavirus after attending the rally. CBS News, "Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota ignited COVID-19 outbreak in Minnesota, study finds," 23 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some economists have since pointed to higher over-all national income to argue that NAFTA, and the wider trend toward globalization, has been a net positive. Dan Kaufman, The New Yorker, "Will Trump’s Broken Promises to Working-Class Voters Cost Him the Election?," 31 Oct. 2020 This month, Cornyn was viewed favorably by 43% and unfavorably by 30%, a net positive of 13 points. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, "Biden rebounds to edge over Trump in Texas, as Hegar slightly narrows Cornyn’s lead in Senate race," 25 Oct. 2020 Testing sensitivity aside, Gamine was the only one of the 89 horses tested at Churchill Downs on Oaks and Kentucky Derby days to produce a positive. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "After another positive, Bob Baffert case will test racing's commitment to drug reform," 24 Oct. 2020 Among the overall electorate, a Florida poll released last week by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy found Biden viewed favorably by 46% and unfavorably by 40%, for a net positive of 6 points. Anthony Man, sun-sentinel.com, "Poll shows Biden with commanding 51-point lead over Trump among Florida Jewish voters," 21 Oct. 2020 Those guidelines call for three tests in the wake of an initial positive: one less than 24 hours later and an additional pair at least 24 hours apart. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Alabama's Nick Saban tests negative for COVID-19, is cleared to coach against Georgia on Saturday," 17 Oct. 2020 The league standards state three negative tests in three consecutive days would negate a previous positive. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "Nick Saban tests negative for COVID-19 a second time," 17 Oct. 2020 But in 22 of those cases, only one sample produced a positive. Jeremy Olson, Star Tribune, "Minnesota to launch COVID-19 saliva lab to find hot spots," 13 Oct. 2020 That athletic testing is two-pronged: a basic saliva test with quick results, and a second more rigorous test for any initial positive. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Ohio State football still won’t reveal coronavirus testing numbers, but the Big Ten might," 24 Sep. 2020

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

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

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