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

Her priority: to be positive and instructive, helping women embrace their natural texture. Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "25 People Changing the Beauty Industry," 3 Sep. 2019 Luke Willson has been a positive influence in camp. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Raiders’ beat writer Matt Kawahara’s fearless 53-man roster projection," 30 Aug. 2019 His six-game NFL suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs begins on Sunday. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals' Patrick Peterson can't even have his playbook when he begins suspension," 30 Aug. 2019 Kacey has such a positive influence not only on the genre of country music but pop music in general. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Inside Tom's One-Hour Photo in L.A.'s Koreatown 24 Hours After Kacey Musgraves Made Him a Viral Star," 29 Aug. 2019 The study found that the U.S. is more likely than France to throw away kidneys where the donor had hypertension, diabetes, had a heart attack or tested positive for Hepatitis C. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "US discards thousands of donated kidneys each year as patients die on waitlist, study says," 29 Aug. 2019 In 2016, Dennis — who shares daughter Kensie, 5, and son Saint, 3, with Ravenel — lost full custody of her children and entered rehab after testing positive for marijuana. Jodi Guglielmi, PEOPLE.com, "Southern Charm: Kathryn Dennis Fears Ex Thomas Ravenel Will Use Show Drama Against Her in Court," 28 Aug. 2019 Nanotubes don't naturally form p- or n-type semiconductors (partial to conveying positive or negative charges, respectively). John Timmer, Ars Technica, "16-bit RISC-V processor made with carbon nanotubes," 28 Aug. 2019 Geppetto, danced by Monternez Rezell, is one of two positive influences in Pinocchio’s life. Lauren Warnecke, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago Dance Crash pulls off a hip-hop take on ‘Pinocchio’ — brilliantly," 26 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Everybody’s going to cheer you on for the positives but not many people are going to harp on the negatives. oregonlive, "Andy Avalos’ strong debut as Oregon defensive coordinator all for naught in loss to Auburn," 1 Sep. 2019 Chris Solari, Graham Couch and Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press EAST LANSING — Mark Dantonio tried to accentuate the positives. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State's offense must show progress or risk losing fans — and a few games," 1 Sep. 2019 Everton have a fierce defence, but that is about as far as the positives go for them so far this campaign. SI.com, "Everton vs Wolves Preview: Where to Watch, Buy Tickets, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 30 Aug. 2019 Only 1 percent said there was nothing to like/no positives about the park district. Steve Schering, chicagotribune.com, "Survey results show Oak Park resident satisfaction with park district, support for community rec center," 26 Aug. 2019 There are many positives to children being involved in extracurricular activities, whether it’s football, band or the National Honor Society. Hailey Auglair | Hauglair@al.com, al.com, "A surprise each fall: Back-to-school supply, fee costs," 21 July 2019 The second most common reason his patients get false positives, Dr. Abdur-Rahman says, is because the test is expired. Haley Goldberg, SELF, "6 Things That Can Cause a False-Positive Pregnancy Test," 17 July 2019 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

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

6 Sep 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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