What does positive mean?

Definitions for positive
ˈpɒz ɪ tɪvpos·i·tive

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. positive, positive degreenoun

    the primary form of an adjective or adverb; denotes a quality without qualification, comparison, or relation to increase or diminution

  2. positiveadjective

    a film showing a photographic image whose tones correspond to those of the original subject

  3. positiveadjective

    characterized by or displaying affirmation or acceptance or certainty etc.

    "a positive attitude"; "the reviews were all positive"; "a positive benefit"; "a positive demand"

  4. convinced(p), positive(p), confident(p)adjective

    persuaded of; very sure

    "were convinced that it would be to their advantage to join"; "I am positive he is lying"; "was confident he would win"

  5. plus, positiveadjective

    involving advantage or good

    "a plus (or positive) factor"

  6. positive, confirmingadjective

    indicating existence or presence of a suspected condition or pathogen

    "a positive pregnancy test"

  7. positive, prescribedadjective

    formally laid down or imposed

    "positive laws"

  8. incontrovertible, irrefutable, positiveadjective

    impossible to deny or disprove

    "incontrovertible proof of the defendant's innocence"; "proof positive"; "an irrefutable argument"

  9. positivist, positivistic, positiveadjective

    of or relating to positivism

    "positivist thinkers"; "positivist doctrine"; "positive philosophy"

  10. positiveadjective

    reckoned, situated or tending in the direction which naturally or arbitrarily is taken to indicate increase or progress or onward motion

    "positive increase in graduating students"

  11. positiveadjective

    greater than zero

    "positive numbers"

  12. positive, electropositive, positively chargedadjective

    having a positive charge

    "protons are positive"

  13. cocksure, overconfident, positiveadjective

    marked by excessive confidence

    "an arrogant and cocksure materialist"; "so overconfident and impudent as to speak to the queen"; "the less he knows the more positive he gets"


  1. positivenoun

    A thing capable of being affirmed; something real or actual.

  2. positivenoun

    A favourable point or characteristic.

  3. positivenoun

    Something having a positive value in physics, such as an electric charge.

  4. positivenoun

    An adjective or adverb in the positive degree.

  5. positivenoun

    A positive image; one that displays true colors and shades, as opposed to a negative.

  6. positiveadjective

    Formally laid down.

  7. positiveadjective

    Stated definitively and without qualification.

  8. positiveadjective

    Fully assured in opinion.

  9. positiveadjective

    Of number, greater than zero.

  10. positiveadjective

    Characterized by constructiveness or influence for the better.

  11. positiveadjective

    Overconfident, dogmatic.

  12. positiveadjective

    Actual, real, concrete, not theoretical or speculative.

  13. positiveadjective

    Having more protons than electrons.

  14. positiveadjective

    Describing the primary sense of an adjective or adverb; not comparative or superlative.

  15. positiveadjective

    Derived from an object by itself; not dependent on changing circumstances or relations; absolute.

  16. positiveadjective

    Characterized by the existence or presence of distinguishing qualities or features, rather than by their absence.

  17. positiveadjective

    Characterized by the presence of features which support a hypothesis.

  18. positiveadjective

    Of a visual image, true to the original in light, shade and colour values.

  19. positiveadjective

    Favorable, desirable by those interested or invested in that which is being judged.

  20. positiveadjective

    Wholly what is expressed; colloquially downright, entire, outright.

  21. positiveadjective


  22. positiveadjective

    HIV positive.

  23. positiveadjective

    Good, desirable, healthful; (often precedes 'energy', 'thought', 'feeling' or 'emotion').

  24. Etymology: From Old (and modern) positif, or positivus, from the past participle stem of ponere. Compare posit.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. POSITIVEadjective

    Etymology: positivus, Lat. positif, Fr.

    The power or blossom is a positive good, although the remove of it, to give place to the fruit, be a comparative good. Francis Bacon.

    Hardness carries somewhat more of positive in it than impenetrability, which is negative; and is perhaps more a consequence of solidity, than solidity itself. John Locke.

    Whatsoever doth or can exist, or be considered as one thing, is positive; and so not only simple ideas and substances, but modes also are positive beings, though the parts, of which they consist, are very often relative one to another. John Locke.

    As for positive words, that he would not bear arms against king Edward’s son; though the words seem calm, yet it was a plain and direct over-ruling of the king’s title. Francis Bacon.

    I am sometimes doubting, when I might be positive, and sometimes confident out of season. Thomas Rymer.

    Some positive persisting fops we know,
    That, if once wrong, will needs be always so;
    But you, with pleasure own your errors past,
    And make each day a critick on the last. Alexander Pope.

    In laws, that which is natural, bindeth universally, that which is positive, not so. Richard Hooker.

    Although no laws but positive be mutable, yet all are not mutable which be positive; positive laws are either permanent or else changeable, according as the matter itself is, concerning which they were made. Richard Hooker.

    Laws are but positive; love’s pow’r we see,
    Is nature’s sanction, and her first decree. Dryden.

    Not to consent to the enacting of such a law, which has no view besides the general good, unless another law shall at the same time pass, with no other view but that of advancing the power of one party alone; what is this but to claim a positive voice, as well as a negative. Jonathan Swift.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Positiveadjective

    having a real position, existence, or energy; existing in fact; real; actual; -- opposed to negative

  2. Positiveadjective

    derived from an object by itself; not dependent on changing circumstances or relations; absolute; -- opposed to relative; as, the idea of beauty is not positive, but depends on the different tastes individuals

  3. Positiveadjective

    definitely laid down; explicitly stated; clearly expressed; -- opposed to implied; as, a positive declaration or promise

  4. Positiveadjective

    hence: Not admitting of any doubt, condition, qualification, or discretion; not dependent on circumstances or probabilities; not speculative; compelling assent or obedience; peremptory; indisputable; decisive; as, positive instructions; positive truth; positive proof

  5. Positiveadjective

    prescribed by express enactment or institution; settled by arbitrary appointment; said of laws

  6. Positiveadjective

    fully assured; confident; certain; sometimes, overconfident; dogmatic; overbearing; -- said of persons

  7. Positiveadjective

    having the power of direct action or influence; as, a positive voice in legislation

  8. Positiveadjective

    corresponding with the original in respect to the position of lights and shades, instead of having the lights and shades reversed; as, a positive picture

  9. Positiveadjective


  10. Positiveadjective

    hence, basic; metallic; not acid; -- opposed to negative, and said of metals, bases, and basic radicals

  11. Positivenoun

    that which is capable of being affirmed; reality

  12. Positivenoun

    that which settles by absolute appointment

  13. Positivenoun

    the positive degree or form

  14. Positivenoun

    a picture in which the lights and shades correspond in position with those of the original, instead of being reversed, as in a negative

  15. Positivenoun

    the positive plate of a voltaic or electrolytic cell

  16. Etymology: [OE. positif, F. positif, L. positivus. See Position.]


  1. Positive

    Positive is a 2007 Hindi short film directed by Farhan Akhtar and produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani under their Excel Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. banner. The film starred Shabana Azmi and Boman Irani in leads roles.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Positive

    poz′i-tiv, adj. definitely placed or laid down: clearly expressed: really existing: actual: not admitting of any doubt or qualification: decisive: settled by distinct appointment: arbitrarily prescribed, laid down—opp. to Natural: too confident in opinion: fully assured: certain: (gram.) noting the simple form of an adjective—as Positive degree of comparison: (math.) greater than zero, to be added, as Positive quantity: (phot.) having the lights and shades in the picture the same as in the original, instead of being reversed: (electr.) having a relatively high potential—opp. to Negative (q.v.).—n. that which is placed or laid down: that which may be affirmed: reality: a positive picture—opp. to Negative.—adv. Pos′itively.—ns. Pos′itiveness, state or quality of being positive: certainty: confidence; Pos′itivism, actual or absolute knowledge; Pos′itivist, a believer in positivism.—Pos′itivism, Positive philosophy, the philosophical system originated by Comte (1798-1857)—its foundation the doctrine that man can have no knowledge of anything but phenomena, and that the knowledge of phenomena is relative, not absolute. [Fr.,—L. positivus, fixed by agreement—ponĕre, to place.]

Editors Contribution

  1. positive

    An enthusiastic, nonjudgmental, truthful, motivated and loving attitude, behavior, feeling, sense, understanding and knowing for life and experience.

    My sister is so positive, she is such a joy to be with.

    Submitted by MaryC on December 26, 2019  

Suggested Resources

  1. positive

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

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British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'positive' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1265

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'positive' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1175

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'positive' in Adjectives Frequency: #149

How to pronounce positive?

How to say positive in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of positive in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of positive in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of positive in a Sentence

  1. Daniel Silver:

    We are moving past the weakest period for energy-related capex ... which should be a positive development for the manufacturing sector.

  2. Judge Arenda Wright Allen:

    These acknowledgments are made in the hopes of making a positive difference to Mr. Grimm and to the everyday lives of our children who rely upon us to protect them compassionately and in ways that more perfectly respect the dignity of every person.

  3. Ferdinand Marcos:

    There are many positive things to talk about from during that time, so that's what we do. It's fairly simple.

  4. Stephanie Grisham:

    Once again part of the liberal media, this time Vanity Fair, has written a story riddled with unnamed sources and false assertions, as a magazine tailored to women it is shameful that they continue to write salacious and false stories meant to demean Mrs. Trump, rather than focus on her positive work as First Lady and as a supportive wife and mother.

  5. Robert Sears:

    Hedge funds broadly managed the year up to March really well - certainly much better than 2008 as a comparison - and they have ended in positive territory.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for positive

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    not transmitting or reflecting light or radiant energy; impenetrable to sight
    • A. dangerous
    • B. urban
    • C. opaque
    • D. handsome

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