Definitions for negativeˈnɛg ə tɪv

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word negative

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

neg•a•tiveˈnɛg ə tɪv(adj.; n.; adv.; v.; interj.)-tived, -tiv•ing

  1. (adj.)expressing or containing negation or denial:

    a negative response to the question.

  2. refusing consent, as to a proposal:

    a negative reply to my request.

  3. expressing refusal or resistance:

    a negative attitude about cooperating.

  4. unfavorable:

    negative criticism.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  5. prohibitory, as a command or order.

  6. lacking positive attributes (opposed to positive):

    a negative character.

  7. lacking in constructiveness, helpfulness, optimism, or the like:

    a negative approach to problem solving.

  8. being without rewards, results, or effectiveness:

    a search of the premises proved negative.

  9. Math. involving or noting subtraction; minus. measured or proceeding in the direction opposite to that which is considered as positive.

    Category: Physics, Math

  10. Photog. noting an image in which the brightness values of the subject are reproduced so that the lightest areas are shown as the darkest.

    Category: Photography

  11. of or pertaining to the electric charge of a body that has an excess of electrons. (of a point in a circuit) having lower potential, therefore drawing the flow of current.

    Category: Electricity and Magnetism

  12. Med. failing to show a positive result in a diagnostic test.

  13. Chem. (of an element or group) tending to gain electrons and become negatively charged; acid.

    Category: Chemistry

  14. Physiol. responding in a direction away from the stimulus.

    Category: Physiology

  15. of, pertaining to, or noting the S pole of a magnet.

    Category: Physics

  16. Logic. (of a proposition) denying the truth of the predicate with regard to the subject.

    Category: Philosphy

  17. (n.)a negative statement, answer, word, gesture, etc.:

    The ship signaled back a negative.

  18. a refusal of assent:

    to answer a request with a negative.

  19. the negative form of statement.

  20. one or more persons arguing against a resolution, statement, etc., esp. a team in a formal debate.

  21. a negative quality or characteristic.

  22. disadvantage; drawback:

    a brilliant plan with only one negative.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  23. Math. a minus sign. a negative quantity or symbol.

    Category: Math

  24. Photog. a negative image, as on a film, used chiefly for making positives.

    Category: Photography

  25. Archaic. a veto, or right of veto.

  26. (adv.)(used to indicate a negative response):

    “You won't come with us?”“Negative.”

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  27. (v.t.)to deny; contradict.

  28. to refute or disprove (something).

  29. to refuse assent or consent to; veto.

  30. to neutralize or counteract.

  31. (interj.)(used to indicate disagreement, denial of permission, etc.)

    Category: Common Vocabulary

Origin of negative:

1350–1400; ME negatif < MF < L negātīvus denying


Princeton's WordNet

  1. negative(noun)

    a reply of denial

    "he answered in the negative"

  2. negative(adj)

    a piece of photographic film showing an image with light and shade or colors reversed

  3. negative(adj)

    characterized by or displaying negation or denial or opposition or resistance; having no positive features

    "a negative outlook on life"; "a colorless negative personality"; "a negative evaluation"; "a negative reaction to an advertising campaign"

  4. negative(adj)

    expressing or consisting of a negation or refusal or denial

  5. negative(adj)

    having the quality of something harmful or unpleasant

    "ran a negative campaign"; "delinquents retarded by their negative outlook on life"

  6. negative, disconfirming(adj)

    not indicating the presence of microorganisms or disease or a specific condition

    "the HIV test was negative"

  7. negative(adj)

    reckoned in a direction opposite to that regarded as positive

    "negative interest rates"

  8. negative(adj)

    less than zero

    "a negative number"

  9. damaging, negative(adj)

    designed or tending to discredit, especially without positive or helpful suggestions

    "negative criticism"

  10. negative, electronegative, negatively charged(adj)

    having a negative charge

    "electrons are negative"

  11. minus, negative(verb)

    involving disadvantage or harm

    "minus (or negative) factors"

  12. veto, blackball, negative(verb)

    vote against; refuse to endorse; refuse to assent

    "The President vetoed the bill"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. negative(adjective)ˈnɛg ə tɪv

    ≠ positive

    a negative view of life

  2. negativeˈnɛg ə tɪv

    ≠ positive

    The situation had a negative effect on the economy.

  3. negativeˈnɛg ə tɪv

    ≠ positive

    The pregnancy test was negative.; to test negative for drugs

  4. negativeˈnɛg ə tɪv

    in grammar, relating to sth that expresses the idea of "no" or "not"

    a negative clause

  5. negativeˈnɛg ə tɪv

    (of a number) being less than zero

    Five minus six is negative one.

  6. negative(noun)ˈnɛg ə tɪv

    sth that means "no"

    He replied in the negative.

  7. negativeˈnɛg ə tɪv

    an image used to produce a photograph in which dark things look light and light things look dark

    She was looking at the negatives.


  1. negative(Noun)

    refusal or withholding of assents; veto, prohibition

  2. negative(Noun)

    an image in which dark areas represent light ones, and the converse

  3. negative(Noun)

    a word that indicates negation

  4. negative(Noun)

    a negative quantity

  5. negative(Noun)

    : A rep performed with weight in which the muscle begins at maximum contraction and is slowly extended; a movement performed using only the eccentric phase of muscle movement.

  6. negative(Verb)

    To veto

  7. negative(Verb)

    To contradict

  8. negative(Verb)

    To disprove

  9. negative(Adjective)

    not positive or neutral

  10. negative(Adjective)

    of electrical charge of an electron and related particles

  11. negative(Adjective)

    of number, less than zero

  12. negative(Adjective)

    denying a proposition

  13. negative(Adjective)

    damaging; undesirable; unfavourable

  14. negative(Adjective)

    pessimistic; not tending to see the bright side of things. (Often used pejoratively.)

  15. negative(Adjective)

    bad, unwanted, disagreeable, potentially damaging, to be avoided, excessively difficult; (often precedes 'energy', 'feeling', 'emotion' or 'thought').

  16. Origin: From negativus, from negare; see negate.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Negative(adj)

    denying; implying, containing, or asserting denial, negation or refusal; returning the answer no to an inquiry or request; refusing assent; as, a negative answer; a negative opinion; -- opposed to affirmative

  2. Negative(adj)

    not positive; without affirmative statement or demonstration; indirect; consisting in the absence of something; privative; as, a negative argument; a negative morality; negative criticism

  3. Negative(adj)

    asserting absence of connection between a subject and a predicate; as, a negative proposition

  4. Negative(adj)

    of or pertaining to a picture upon glass or other material, in which the lights and shades of the original, and the relations of right and left, are reversed

  5. Negative(adj)

    metalloidal; nonmetallic; -- contracted with positive or basic; as, the nitro group is negative

  6. Negative(noun)

    a proposition by which something is denied or forbidden; a conception or term formed by prefixing the negative particle to one which is positive; an opposite or contradictory term or conception

  7. Negative(noun)

    a word used in denial or refusal; as, not, no

  8. Negative(noun)

    the refusal or withholding of assents; veto

  9. Negative(noun)

    that side of a question which denies or refuses, or which is taken by an opposing or denying party; the relation or position of denial or opposition; as, the question was decided in the negative

  10. Negative(noun)

    a picture upon glass or other material, in which the light portions of the original are represented in some opaque material (usually reduced silver), and the dark portions by the uncovered and transparent or semitransparent ground of the picture

  11. Negative(noun)

    the negative plate of a voltaic or electrolytic cell

  12. Negative(verb)

    to prove unreal or intrue; to disprove

  13. Negative(verb)

    to reject by vote; to refuse to enact or sanction; as, the Senate negatived the bill

  14. Negative(verb)

    to neutralize the force of; to counteract


  1. Negative

    In photography, a negative is an image, usually on a strip or sheet of transparent plastic film, in which the lightest areas of the photographed subject appear darkest and the darkest areas appear lightest. This reversed order occurs because of the extremely light-sensitive chemicals a camera film must use to capture an image quickly enough for ordinary picture-taking, which are darkened, rather than bleached, by exposure to light and subsequent photographic processing. In the case of color negatives, the colors are also reversed into their respective complementary colors. Typical color negatives have an overall dull orange tint due to an automatic color-masking feature that ultimately results in improved color reproduction. Negatives are normally used to make positive prints on photographic paper by projecting the negative onto the paper with a photographic enlarger or making a contact print. The paper is also darkened in proportion to its exposure to light, so a second reversal results which restores light and dark to their correct order. Negatives were once commonly made on a thin sheet of glass rather than a plastic film, and some of the earliest negatives were made on paper. It is incorrect to call a photograph a negative solely because it is on a transparent material. Transparent prints can be made by printing a negative onto special positive film, as is done to make traditional motion picture film prints for use in theaters. Some films used in cameras are designed to be developed by reversal processing, which produces the final positive, instead of a negative, on the original film. Positives on film or glass are known as transparencies or diapositives, and if mounted in small frames designed for use in a slide projector or magnifying viewer they are commonly called slides.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Negative

    in photography a picture of an object in which the lights and shadows are reversed, so that the shady part appears white and the light in it appears dark.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'negative' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2374

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'negative' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1803

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'negative' in Adjectives Frequency: #295

Anagrams of negative

  1. agentive

Translations for negative

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


meaning or saying `no'; denying something

a negative answer.

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