What does negative mean?

Definitions for negative
ˈnɛg ə tɪvneg·a·tive

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word negative.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. negativenoun

    a reply of denial

    "he answered in the negative"

  2. negativeadjective

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

  3. negativeadjective

    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. negativeadjective

    expressing or consisting of a negation or refusal or denial

  5. negativeadjective

    having the quality of something harmful or unpleasant

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

  6. negative, disconfirmingadjective

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

    "the HIV test was negative"

  7. negativeadjective

    reckoned in a direction opposite to that regarded as positive

    "negative interest rates"

  8. negativeadjective

    less than zero

    "a negative number"

  9. damaging, negativeadjective

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

    "negative criticism"

  10. negative, electronegative, negatively chargedadjective

    having a negative charge

    "electrons are negative"

  11. minus, negativeverb

    involving disadvantage or harm

    "minus (or negative) factors"

  12. veto, blackball, negativeverb

    vote against; refuse to endorse; refuse to assent

    "The President vetoed the bill"


  1. negativenoun

    refusal or withholding of assents; veto, prohibition

  2. negativenoun

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

  3. negativenoun

    a word that indicates negation

  4. negativenoun

    a negative quantity

  5. negativenoun

    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. negativeverb

    To veto

  7. negativeverb

    To contradict

  8. negativeverb

    To disprove

  9. negativeadjective

    not positive or neutral

  10. negativeadjective

    of electrical charge of an electron and related particles

  11. negativeadjective

    of number, less than zero

  12. negativeadjective

    denying a proposition

  13. negativeadjective

    damaging; undesirable; unfavourable

  14. negativeadjective

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

  15. negativeadjective

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

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

Webster Dictionary

  1. Negativeadjective

    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. Negativeadjective

    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. Negativeadjective

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

  4. Negativeadjective

    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. Negativeadjective

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

  6. Negativenoun

    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. Negativenoun

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

  8. Negativenoun

    the refusal or withholding of assents; veto

  9. Negativenoun

    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. Negativenoun

    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. Negativenoun

    the negative plate of a voltaic or electrolytic cell

  12. Negativeverb

    to prove unreal or intrue; to disprove

  13. Negativeverb

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

  14. Negativeverb

    to neutralize the force of; to counteract

  15. Etymology: [F. ngatif, L. negativus, fr. negare to deny. See Negation.]


  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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Negative

    neg′a-tiv, adj. that denies or refuses—opp. to Affirmative: implying absence: that stops, hinders, neutralises—opp. to Positive: in photography, exhibiting the reverse, as dark for light, light for dark: (logic) denying the connection between a subject and a predicate: (algebra) noting a quantity to be subtracted.—n. a word or statement by which something is denied: the right or act of saying 'no,' or of refusing assent: the side of a question or the decision which denies what is affirmed: in photography, an image on glass or other medium, in which the lights and shades are the opposite of those in nature, used for printing positive impressions from on paper, &c.: (gram.) a word that denies.—v.t. to prove the contrary: to reject by vote.—adv. Neg′atively.—ns. Neg′ativeness, Neg′ativism, Negativ′ity.—adj. Neg′atory, expressing denial.—Negative bath, a silver solution in which photographic negatives are placed to be sensitised; Negative electricity, electricity with a relatively low potential, electricity such as is developed by rubbing resinous bodies with flannel, opposite to that obtained by rubbing glass; Negative quantity (math.), a quantity with a minus sign ( - ) before it, indicating that it is either to be subtracted, or reckoned in an opposite direction from some other with a plus sign; Negative sign, the sign ( - or minus) of subtraction. [L. negativusnegāre, to deny.]

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.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. negative

    This term is sometimes used to express the result of measures or enterprises which, though not entirely successful, are not productive of serious or mischievous consequences. Hence the British expeditions to Spain and Walcheren may be considered as having had negative success.

Suggested Resources

  1. negative

    Song lyrics by negative -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by negative on the Lyrics.com website.

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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

How to pronounce negative?

How to say negative in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of negative in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of negative in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of negative in a Sentence

  1. Ahmed Saeed Khan:

    Profit-taking was seen in the banking sector that remained mostly negative throughout the day despite the news of China easing rules for Pakistani banks to operate in the country.

  2. Southeastern US:

    Modeling scenarios are always approximations, but they're definitely in the right order of magnitude based on what I've seen in previous economic analysis, the most important thing from The Analysis Group study is that the economic impacts are positive, not negative. If passed, the Clean Electricity Payment Program and clean energy tax credits would be the most impactful piece climate legislation in Southeastern US history, and The Analysis Group study shows that it will not be a cost to the economy, it'll be a benefit. That's a no brainer.

  3. Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell:

    I noticed an actor and her husband on [a recent cover of a celebrity tabloid] that said In Couples' Therapy! The clear message is, 'Oh, their marriage is ending.' There's such a negative connotation, in my previous relationship, we went to couples' therapy at the end, and that's often too late. You can't go after nine years and start figuring out what patterns you're in.

  4. Zoran Zaev:

    We saw that the status quo brings an erosion of democracy, a lack of economic opportunity, negative influence from third parties is increasing.

  5. Prince Harry:

    Just because you suffered, that doesn’t mean that your kids have to suffer, in fact, quite the opposite, if you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that whatever negative experiences that you had, you can make it right for your kids. Isn’t this all about breaking the cycle? Isn’t this all about making sure that history doesn’t repeat itself?

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Translations for negative

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    lacking orderly continuity
    • A. disjointed
    • B. reassuring
    • C. sought
    • D. profound

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