passive: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (pas'iv), [key]
— adj.
  1. not reacting visibly to something that might be expected to produce manifestations of an emotion or feeling.
  2. not participating readily or actively; inactive: a passive member of a committee.
  3. not involving visible reaction or active participation: to play a passive role.
  4. inert or quiescent.
  5. influenced, acted upon, or affected by some external force, cause, or agency; being the object of action rather than causing action (opposed to active).
  6. receiving or characterized by the reception of impressions or influences from external sources.
  7. produced or caused by an external agency.
  8. receiving, enduring, or submitting without resistance: a passive hypnotic subject.
    1. noting a voice in the inflection of the verb in some languages which is used to indicate that the subject undergoes the action of the verb. Latin portātur, “he, she, or it is carried,” is in the passive voice.
    2. noting or pertaining to a construction similar to this in meaning, as English He is carried (opposed to active).
  9. inactive, esp. under conditions in which chemical activity is to be expected.
  10. (of a metal) treated so as to impart impassivity.
  11. of or pertaining to certain unhealthy but dormant conditions; inactive, as opposed to active or spontaneous.
  12. designed to relay signals without electronic devices: a passive communications satellite.
  13. (of a solar heating system) accumulating and distributing solar heat without the aid of machinery.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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