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

In more positive news for Liverpool, the reigning Champions League champions have not lost their opening game the following season since way back in 1994/95 when AC Milan lost to Ajax. SI.com, "Napoli vs Liverpool: 8 Key Facts & Stats to Impress Your Mates Ahead of Champions League Clash," 17 Sep. 2019 Help people channel their energies in the same direction for the most positive outcome. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Sept. 17, 2019: Capricorn, be a positive force; Virgo, don’t procrastinate," 17 Sep. 2019 Giving up only 13 points is a positive after getting carved up for 40 last week by the Chiefs. John Reid, orlandosentinel.com, "Jaguars CB Ramsey requests trade after dispute during loss with Marrone," 16 Sep. 2019 These non-academic exercises are a way for Newton students to decompress and focus on the positive — a priority since a cluster of student suicides during the 2013-14 academic year called attention to the school’s high-stakes atmosphere. BostonGlobe.com, "ada Pierre is tiny, her ambition drawn taut as a bowstring. The 16-year-old daughter of Haitian immigrants wears her hair in a small bun atop her head, her emerging political consciousness finding its voice in the bevy of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo stickers she’s pasted to her MacBook.," 15 Sep. 2019 With water levels rebounding, things are more optimistic, more positive. Katrina Pross, Twin Cities, "White Bear Lake flourishes this summer with high water levels, but impending lawsuit looms," 14 Sep. 2019 The positive that Owings Mills got out of it was what came from the Ravens on this night. Jeff Seidel, baltimoresun.com, "New Town cruises past Owings Mills, 42-8, in Raven RISE game," 14 Sep. 2019 Compared with five years ago, Americans are somewhat more positive toward policies focused on renewable energy and somewhat more negative toward those that extract oil and gas. Seth Borenstein, Time, "New Poll Shows Majority of Americans Disapprove of President Trump's Climate Change Views," 13 Sep. 2019 Theresa was tiny, with more positive energy than a sunflower. Sandra Sidi, The Atlantic, "The Male Gaze on Steroids," 6 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Last week’s result: Lost to L.A. Chargers, 30-24 (OT) This week: at Tennessee Plenty of positives—Marlon Mack’s production, Jacoby Brissett’s poise—to take away from a tough road loss in L.A. Vinatieri will be OK—right? The Mmqb Staff, SI.com, "NFL Power Rankings Poll Week 2: Vikings, Ravens, Titans Climb; Steelers, Browns Plunge," 10 Sep. 2019 There were a lot of positives to take from Alabama’s dominating win over Duke. John Talty | Jtalty@al.com, al, "The SEC’s shaky Saturday overshadows big wins," 1 Sep. 2019 There was, however, also a sense of pride for the 33-year-old former assistant, whose Barons displayed plenty of positives. Barry Faulkner, Daily Pilot, "Fountain Valley football loses at Elsinore in Chris Anderson’s head-coaching debut," 23 Aug. 2019 Ryon Healy has made some nice adjustments, Domingo Santana has swung the bat well, so there’s been a lot of positives, in that regard. Larry Stone, The Seattle Times, "Only one question matters this Mariners season: How is the step back affecting the step forward?," 19 May 2019 But certainly, there are some positives that come out of it. NBC News, "Dale Earnhardt Jr. says racing career helped 'insulate' him during plane crash," 30 Aug. 2019 There are many positives from which Keys can choose. Ben Rothenberg, New York Times, "Madison Keys Wins Western & Southern, but Keeps Eyes on U.S. Open," 18 Aug. 2019 But playing pain free, Murray believed there were positives to take from the loss to Gasquet in Cincinnati. Ben Morse, CNN, "Andy Murray loses first singles game since hip surgery, confirms he won't play singles at US Open," 13 Aug. 2019 An inevitable side effect of making predictions is false positives—the algorithm sees signs of a disease that never develops. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "Alphabet’s AI Might Be Able to Predict Kidney Disease," 31 July 2019

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

4 Oct 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 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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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

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