positive: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (poz'i-tiv), [key]
— adj.
  1. explicitly stated, stipulated, or expressed: a positive acceptance of the agreement.
  2. admitting of no question: positive proof.
  3. stated; express; emphatic: a positive denial.
  4. confident in opinion or assertion; fully assured: He is positive that he will win the contest.
  5. overconfident or dogmatic: The less he knows, the more positive he gets.
  6. without relation to or comparison with other things; not relative or comparative; absolute.
  7. downright; out-and-out: She's a positive genius.
  8. determined by enactment or convention; arbitrarily laid down: positive law.
  9. emphasizing what is laudable, hopeful, or to the good; constructive: a positive attitude toward the future; positive things to say about a painting.
  10. not speculative or theoretical; practical: a positive approach to the problem.
  11. possessing an actual force, being, existence, etc.
  12. positive philosophy.
    1. constructive and sure, rather than skeptical.
    2. concerned with or based on matters of experience:positive philosophy.
  13. showing or expressing approval or agreement; favorable: a positive reaction to the speech.
  14. consisting in or characterized by the presence or possession of distinguishing or marked qualities or features (opposed to negative): Light is positive, darkness negative.
  15. noting the presence of such qualities, as a term.
  16. measured or proceeding in a direction assumed as beneficial, progressive, or auspicious: a positive upturn in the stock market.
    1. of, pertaining to, or characterized by positive electricity.
    2. indicating a point in a circuit that has a higher potential than that of another point, the current flowing from the point of higher potential to the point of lower potential.
  17. of, pertaining to, or noting the north pole of a magnet.
  18. (of an element or group) tending to lose electrons and become positively charged; basic.
  19. being, noting, or pertaining to the initial degree of the comparison of adjectives and adverbs, as the positive form good. Cf.(def. 4),(def. 2).
    1. (of blood, affected tissue, etc.) showing the presence of disease.
    2. (of a diagnostic test) indicating disease.
  20. See
  21. noting a quantity greater than zero.
  22. (of government) assuming control or regulation of activities beyond those involved merely with the maintenance of law and order.
  23. oriented or moving toward the focus of excitation: a positive tropism.
  24. denoting a print or transparency showing the brightness values as they are in the subject.
  25. noting or pertaining to a process or machine part having a fixed or certain operation, esp. as the result of elimination of play, free motion, etc.: positive lubrication.
  1. something positive.
  2. a positive quality or characteristic.
  3. a positive quantity or symbol.
    1. the positive degree.
    2. a form in the positive, as good or smooth.
  4. a positive image, as on a print or transparency.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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