Definitions for passiveˈpæs ɪv

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

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

pas•siveˈpæs ɪv(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. inert or quiescent.

  4. influenced, acted upon, or affected by some external force, cause, or agency (

    Ref: opposed to active ).

  5. receiving or characterized by the reception of impressions or influences from external sources.

  6. produced or caused by an external agency.

  7. receiving, enduring, or submitting without resistance; submissive.

  8. of, pertaining to, or being a voice, verb form, or construction having a subject represented as undergoing the action expressed by the verb, as the sentence The letter was written last week (

    Category: Grammar

    Ref: opposed to active ).

  9. chemically inactive, esp. under conditions in which chemical activity is to be expected.

    Category: Chemistry

  10. (of a metal) treated so as to render corrosion-resistant.

    Category: Metallurgy

  11. (of a solar heating system) functioning without the aid of machinery, as pumps.

    Category: Common Vocabulary, Energy

  12. (n.)the passive voice.

    Category: Grammar

  13. a passive verb form or construction.

    Category: Grammar

Origin of passive:

1350–1400; ME < L passīvus lit., submissive =pass(us) (ptp. of patī to experience, undergo) +-īvus -ive


Princeton's WordNet

  1. passive voice, passive(adj)

    the voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is the recipient (not the source) of the action denoted by the verb

    "`The ball was thrown by the boy' uses the passive voice"; "`The ball was thrown' is an abbreviated passive"

  2. passive, inactive(adj)

    lacking in energy or will

    "Much benevolence of the passive order may be traced to a disinclination to inflict pain upon oneself"- George Meredith

  3. passive, peaceful(adj)

    peacefully resistant in response to injustice

    "passive resistance"

  4. passive(adj)

    expressing that the subject of the sentence is the patient of the action denoted by the verb

    "academics seem to favor passive sentences"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. passive(adjective)ˈpæs ɪv

    accepting whatever happens

    passive behavior; a passive child

  2. passiveˈpæs ɪv

    ≠ active

    a passive sentence

  3. passive(noun)ˈpæs ɪv

    ≠ active

    Change these sentences into the passive.


  1. passive(Noun)

    The passive voice of verbs.

  2. passive(Noun)

    A form of a verb that is in the passive voice.

  3. passive(Adjective)

    Being subjected to an action without producing a reaction.

  4. passive(Adjective)

    Taking no action.

    He remained passive during the protest.

  5. passive(Adjective)

    Being in the passive voice.

  6. passive(Adjective)

    Being inactive and submissive in a relationship, especially in a sexual one.

  7. passive(Adjective)

    Not participating in management.

  8. Origin: From passif, from passivus, from pati, past participle of passus; compare patient.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Passive(adj)

    not active, but acted upon; suffering or receiving impressions or influences; as, they were passive spectators, not actors in the scene

  2. Passive(adj)

    receiving or enduring without either active sympathy or active resistance; without emotion or excitement; patient; not opposing; unresisting; as, passive obedience; passive submission

  3. Passive(adj)

    inactive; inert; not showing strong affinity; as, red phosphorus is comparatively passive

  4. Passive(adj)

    designating certain morbid conditions, as hemorrhage or dropsy, characterized by relaxation of the vessels and tissues, with deficient vitality and lack of reaction in the affected tissues


  1. Passive

    "Passive" is a song from the band A Perfect Circle's 2004 album eMOTIVe The song is a remake of the song "Vacant" by the now-defunct band Tapeworm. "Vacant" was notably first performed by A Perfect Circle without Trent Reznor's agreement.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. passive

    In surveillance, an adjective applied to actions or equipments which emit no energy capable of being detected.

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'passive' in Adjectives Frequency: #812

Translations for passive

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


showing no interest, emotion etc, or not resisting an attack etc

The villagers showed passive resistance to the enemy

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