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

Vector control also collected its first mosquito sample that tested positive for West Nile this year at El Camino Real Park in the city of Orange on July 30. Priscella Vega, Daily Pilot, "2 dead birds infected with West Nile virus found in Huntington Beach," 6 Aug. 2019 This year, dead birds that tested positive for West Nile have been found in L.A. County as well as Orange, Sacramento, San Diego, Fresno, Merced, Tulare and San Joaquin counties, according to the state’s West Nile website. Soumya Karlamanglastaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Two L.A. County residents are sick with West Nile — the county’s first cases of 2019," 5 Aug. 2019 On Thursday, the wife and 1-year-old daughter of the man who died of Ebola in Goma earlier this week tested positive for the disease, health officials said. NBC News, "Former U.S. Ebola patients mark 5 years since recovery while new outbreak grips Congo," 2 Aug. 2019 Moreover, experts have noticed that patients who test positive for C. auris also tend to have simultaneous infections of drug-resistant bacteria, like the strains the patient had. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Got a horrifying foreign superbug? You may have more than one," 1 Aug. 2019 Never Say Never!’ Bachelor Nation also claimed that applicants who test positive for an STD are immediately taken out of the running. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Chris Harrison Jokes the Biggest Bachelor Production Expenses Are Condoms and STD Testing," 1 Aug. 2019 Three mosquitoes trapped in East Haven this week are the first to test positive for West Nile virus this year, the state’s Mosquito Management Program announced Thursday afternoon. Zach Murdock, courant.com, "East Haven mosquitoes first to test positive for West Nile virus this year," 1 Aug. 2019 The environmental group Center on Environmental Health released a study this month that found that 11 of 12 families tested positive for glyphosate. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "Former Pittsburgh Steeler Merril Hoge sues Roundup maker, alleges it caused his cancer," 31 July 2019 The Oak Park health department has announced that mosquitos trapped in the north and south ends of the village have tested positive for West Nile virus. Steve Schering, chicagotribune.com, "West Nile virus found in Oak Park mosquitos," 30 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The city is looking to create more focus on some of its positives, like the annual Fido Fest event held at the Santee Community Park where dogs are the center attraction. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Santee looking to shake stereotypes with new branding effort," 20 Aug. 2019 The idea is to disguise the real thing among a sea of false positives. The Economist, "As face-recognition technology spreads, so do ideas for subverting it," 15 Aug. 2019 But despite the many question marks, Weis has still noted a lot of positives in his offense. Christian Simmons, sun-sentinel.com, "After regressing last year, FAU offense looks to bounce back despite many questions remaining," 12 Aug. 2019 Several trials have also found higher overall error rates for people of color and women, presenting the possibility of false positives. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Proposed Federal Law Adds to the Backlash Against Facial-Recognition Technology," 25 July 2019 The City of Cincinnati didn't take a position on the EPA's action yet but did see some positives. Scott Wartman, Cincinnati.com, "EPA tries to force the city and county to agree. If they can't, expect a big sewer bill," 19 July 2019 Indeed, the analysis by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is one of several lately that see more positives than negatives in the changing nature of many urban neighborhoods. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Study reveals surprising results about Detroit gentrification," 18 July 2019 Importantly, the benefits of continued work include not just the absence of negatives but the presence of positives: increases in sense of purpose, life satisfaction, physical health and self-worth. Louise Aronson, Twin Cities, "Louise Aronson: I’m a geriatrician, and I’m fine with an 80-year-old running for president," 14 June 2019 Sitting in his spacious corner office overlooking Mount Vernon Square, Stanley Pierre-Louis, the Entertainment Software Association’s newly confirmed CEO rattles off a lengthy list of positives. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, "Even in a ‘golden age’ for gaming, video game trade group’s new CEO faces challenges," 6 June 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

9 Aug 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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