adj. & n.
1 formally or explicitly stated; definite, unquestionable (positive proof).
2 (of a person) convinced, confident, or overconfident in his or her opinion (positive that I was not there).
3 a absolute; not relative. b Gram. (of an adjective or adverb) expressing a simple quality without comparison (cf. COMPARATIVE, SUPERLATIVE).
4 colloq. downright; complete (it would be a positive miracle).
5 constructive; directional (positive criticism; positive thinking).
6 marked by the presence rather than absence of qualities or Med. symptoms (a positive reaction to the plan; the test was positive).
7 esp. Philos. dealing only with matters of fact; practical (cf. POSITIVISM 1).
8 tending in a direction naturally or arbitrarily taken as that of increase or progress (clockwise rotation is positive).
9 greater than zero (positive and negative integers) (opp. NEGATIVE).
10 Electr. of, containing, or producing the kind of electrical charge produced by rubbing glass with silk; an absence of electrons.
11 (of a photographic image) showing lights and shades or colours true to the original (opp. NEGATIVE).
—n. a positive adjective, photograph, quantity, etc.
Phrases and idioms:
positive discrimination the practice of making distinctions in favour of groups considered to be underprivileged. positive feedback
1 a constructive response to an experiment, questionnaire, etc.
2 Electronics the return of part of an output signal to the input, tending to increase the amplification etc. positive geotropism see GEOTROPISM. positive pole the north-seeking pole. positive ray Physics a canal ray. positive sign = plus sign. positive vetting Brit. an exhaustive inquiry into the background and character of a candidate for a post in the Civil Service that involves access to secret material.
positively adv. positiveness n. positivity n.
Etymology: ME f. OF positif -ive or L positivus (as POSIT)

Useful english dictionary. 2012.


Look at other dictionaries:

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