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

The doctor suggested helping youth find positive role models. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "Arizona groups offer health, housing help to LGBT youth," 14 July 2018 The positive vibes are still coming to Henry Ellenson. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Coach O's words soothed Detroit Pistons' Henry Ellenson in trying year," 13 July 2018 On the positive side, Ameristar Casino in East Chicago raked in $18.95 million in June, compared to $17.81 million during the same month last year. Karen Caffarini, Post-Tribune, "Casino revenues steady in Northwest Indiana," 13 July 2018 Lorraine Westervelt, a camp director, called it a blessing to see youth make a positive impact in the lives of community residents. Alison Kuznitz, courant.com, "A Wallingford Mission Trip Brings Together 360 Youth Volunteers To Repair Homes, Communities," 13 July 2018 Calculating the economic impact of sporting trophies is hard, but there can be little doubt that a victory could be worth more in terms of positive publicity for Croatia than years of splurging on global PR campaigns. The Economist, "Croatia stands on the cusp of World Cup victory," 13 July 2018 And in February, Kelli Ward, a far-right candidate for the Republican Senate nomination in Arizona, touted a positive editorial from the Arizona Monitor — which later proved to be an anonymous blog. Lev Facher, STAT, "Read the fine print: N.J. senator sets up phony health news website to attack challenger Bob Hugin," 13 July 2018 The results are extremely clear and extremely positive... SI.com, "FIFA Confirm Final (Winter!) Dates for 2022 World Cup in Qatar," 13 July 2018 On the positive side, no one can dispute the exposure to college coaches the travel landscape provides. Pat Disabato, Daily Southtown, "Disabato: As travel schedules continue to expand, high school baseball teams feeling the summer squeeze," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 There were some positives to take away in 2017, though, GLAAD said. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "Hollywood Studios Are Still Not Representing LGBQT Characters Enough, Report Finds," 22 May 2018 New data about the South Wales Police's use of the technology obtained by Wired UK and The Guardian through a public records request shows that of the 2,470 alerts from the facial recognition system, 2,297 were false positives. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "UK police say 92% false positive facial recognition is no big deal," 7 May 2018 Are there any positives the Cavs can take from the opening game loss? Chris Fedor, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Cavaliers' concerns, possible adjustments following Game 1 loss: Wine and Gold Talk Podcast," 15 Apr. 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

18 Oct 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

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