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Positive, adjective


  • 1. Consisting in or characterized by the presence rather than the absence of distinguishing features.
    ‘Mitomycin C and cyclophosphamide were used as positive controls in the absence and presence of S9, respectively.’

    • 1.1 Expressing or implying affirmation, agreement, or permission.
      ‘the company received a positive response from investors’
    • 1.2 (of the results of a test or experiment) indicating that a certain substance or condition is present or exists.
      ‘the positive results of a pregnancy test’
    • 1.3 (of a person) having a specified condition, or showing traces of a specified substance in their body.
      ‘a player had tested positive for cocaine use’
  • 2. Constructive, optimistic, or confident.
    ‘there needs to be a positive approach to young offenders’

    • 2.1 Showing progress or improvement.
      ‘the prospects for positive growth in the economy do not look good’
  • 3. With no possibility of doubt; definite.
    ‘he made a positive identification of a glossy ibis’

    • 3.1 Convinced in one’s opinion; certain.
      ‘‘You are sure it was the same man?’ ‘Positive!’ said George’
    • 3.2 informal attributive Downright; complete (used for emphasis)
  • 4. (of a quantity) greater than zero.
    ‘He defines limits of positive variable quantities using ideas that he had used in looking at limits of series.’
  • 5. Containing, producing, or denoting an electric charge opposite to that carried by electrons.
    ‘each battery has a positive and negative terminal’
  • 6. (of a photographic image) showing lights and shades or colours true to the original.
    ‘This kind of photograph is a unique positive picture produced on a thin sheet of iron blackened by tar.’
  • 7. Grammar
    Denoting the primary degree of an adjective or adverb, which expresses simple quality without qualification.
    Contrasted with comparative and superlative
  • 8. Philosophy
    Dealing only with matters of fact and experience; not speculative or theoretical.
    Compare with positivism (sense 1)
    ‘In other words, it attempts to form a positive conception of noumena.’
  • 9. Astrology
    Relating to or denoting any of the air or fire signs, considered active in nature.

Positive definition, Lexico powered by Oxford Dictionary.