- engaged in action; characterized by energetic work, participation, etc.; busy: an active life.
- being in a state of existence, progress, or motion: active hostilities.
- involving physical effort and action: active sports.
- having the power of quick motion; nimble: active as a gazelle.
- characterized by action, motion, volume, use, participation, etc.: an active market in wheat; an active list of subscribers.
- causing activity or change; capable of exerting influence (opposed to passive): active treason.
- effective (opposed to inert): active ingredients.
- Grammar. noting or pertaining to a voice of verbal inflection in which typically the subject of the sentence is represented as performing the action expressed by the verb (opposed to passive): Writes in He writes a letter every day is an active verb form.
- requiring or giving rise to action; practical: an active course.
- (of a volcano) in eruption.
- Accounting. profitable; busy: active accounts.
- requiring personal effort or attention; not automatic: an active alarm system.
- interest-bearing: active paper.
- Medicine/Medical. acting quickly; producing immediate effects: active remedies.
- Sociology. (of a crowd) engaging in purposeful activity, often of a militant nature.Compare expressive(def 4).
- Aerospace. able to transmit signals: an active communications satellite.
- Electronics. (of a device or system) acting as a source of electrical energy, as a generator, or capable of amplifying or converting voltages or currents, as a transistor or diode.
- (of a solar heating system) accumulating and distributing solar heat by mechanical means.
- Military. serving on active duty.
- the active voice.
- a form or construction in the active voice.
- an active person, member, subscriber, etc.: The circular was mailed only to the actives on our list.
- Informal. something showing considerable action or activity: On the stock market there was heavy trading in the actives.
Origin of active
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for active
“The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program,” the Times reported.Political Memes That Absolutely Must Die in 2015
January 1, 2015
Along the river, crumbling remnants of an active trading hub are overtaken by nature.The Congo's Forgotten Colonial Getaway
December 18, 2014
Female members have been involved in the carnage for the past two years, but never in such an active role.The New Face of Boko Haram’s Terror: Teen Girls
December 13, 2014
It took three weeks for RSD to learn that James Seevakumaran had been an active member of its community.School Shooters Love This Pickup Artist Website
December 5, 2014
However there is little doubt that Harry has felt at his most happy and fulfilled when he has been active in his army life.Can Harry Bury the Party Prince?
December 2, 2014
Now he was active, acutely aware of himself and all his wants.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
His countrymen were the first to press steam into the active service of mankind.
For most of us the fear of death is a subconscious rather than an active fear.The Conquest of Fear
I am sorry for you all, and for you especially that you should have had to take an active part in the business.Weighed and Wanting
Active opposition I could fight; but the tactics are now to ignore me.The Bacillus of Beauty
- in a state of action; moving, working, or doing something
- busy or involvedan active life
- physically energetic
- exerting influence; effectivean active ingredient
- being fully engaged in military service (esp in the phrase on active service)
- (of a volcano) erupting periodically; not extinctCompare dormant (def. 3), extinct (def. 3)
- astronomy (of the sun) exhibiting a large number of sunspots, solar flares, etc, and a marked variation in intensity and frequency of radio emissionCompare quiet (def. 8)
- producing or being used to produce profit, esp in the form of interestactive balances
- of or denoting stocks or shares that have been actively bought and sold as recorded in the Official List of the London Stock Exchange
- containing a source of poweran active network
- capable of amplifying a signal or controlling some functionan active component; an active communication satellite
- the active voice
- an active verb
- mainly US a member of an organization who participates in its activities
Word Origin and History for active
mid-14c., "given to worldly activity" (opposed to contemplative or monastic), from Old French actif (12c.) or directly from Latin activus, from actus (see act (n.)). As "capable of acting" (opposed to passive), from late 14c. Meaning "energetic, lively" is from 1590s; that of "working, effective, in operation" is from 1640s. Active voice is recorded from 1765 (grammatical use of active dates from mid-15c.).