- explicitly stated, stipulated, or expressed: a positive acceptance of the agreement.
- admitting of no question: positive proof.
- stated; express; emphatic: a positive denial.
- confident in opinion or assertion; fully assured: He is positive that he will win the contest.
- overconfident or dogmatic: The less he knows, the more positive he gets.
- without relation to or comparison with other things; not relative or comparative; absolute.
- Informal. downright; out-and-out: She's a positive genius.
- determined by enactment or convention; arbitrarily laid down: positive law.
- emphasizing what is laudable, hopeful, or to the good; constructive: a positive attitude toward the future; positive things to say about a painting.
- encouraging or noting a healthy or balanced outlook toward something, especially toward sex and sexuality (used in combination):sex-positive attitudes;the body-positive movement;a gay-positive movie.
- not speculative or theoretical; practical: a positive approach to the problem.
- possessing an actual force, being, existence, etc.
- constructive and sure, rather than skeptical.
- concerned with or based on matters of experience: positive philosophy.
- showing or expressing approval or agreement; favorable: a positive reaction to the speech.
- consisting in or characterized by the presence or possession of distinguishing or marked qualities or features (opposed to negative): Light is positive, darkness negative.
- noting the presence of such qualities, as a term.
- measured or proceeding in a direction assumed as beneficial, progressive, or auspicious: a positive upturn in the stock market.
- of, relating to, or characterized by positive electricity.
- indicating a point in a circuit that has a higher potential than that of another point, the current flowing from the point of higher potential to the point of lower potential.
- of, relating to, or noting the north pole of a magnet.
- Chemistry. (of an element or group) tending to lose electrons and become positively charged; basic.
- Grammar. being, noting, or pertaining to the initial degree of the comparison of adjectives and adverbs, as the positive form good.Compare comparative(def 4), superlative(def 2).
- (of blood, affected tissue, etc.) indicating the presence of a specified medical condition or substance:Her urine was positive for opiates.
- (of a diagnostic test) indicating the presence of the medical condition or substance tested for:a positive test for tuberculosis.
- (of a person) diagnosed as having a specified medical condition, or having a specified substance in the body (often used in combination):He's HIV positive.She tested positive for lupus.
- Biochemistry. Rh factor.
- Mathematics. noting a quantity greater than zero.
- (of government) assuming control or regulation of activities beyond those involved merely with the maintenance of law and order.
- Biology. oriented or moving toward the focus of excitation: a positive tropism.
- Photography. denoting a print or transparency showing the brightness values as they are in the subject.
- Machinery. noting or pertaining to a process or machine part having a fixed or certain operation, especially as the result of elimination of play, free motion, etc.: positive lubrication.
- something positive.
- a positive quality or characteristic.
- a positive quantity or symbol.
- the positive degree.
- a form in the positive, as good or smooth.
- Photography. a positive image, as on a print or transparency.
Origin of positive
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for positives
Marlow: But the positives this season far outweighed the negatives.Inside ‘Orange Is the New Black’ S2, Eps. 6-12: About That Shocking Incest Scene
Kevin Fallon, Marlow Stern
June 20, 2014
The positives of meditation are many, but mastering the practice can be a challenge.High-Tech Meditation: Swap Your Yogi for a Headset
April 14, 2014
But there are a lot of positives in the relationship, too, and both presidents were at pains to stress them.The West Can Ally Against Russia But It Needs Global Cooperation
March 26, 2014
But the positives are moot if people fail to recognize the problem of eWaste and to realize they can do their part to reduce it.ecoATM offers consumers a new way to sell used cell phones and electronic devices
September 1, 2013
Now, for the positives: The big takeaway of the positive elements of the GOP is that culture war issues generally scored low.America's Reflection on Our Political Parties
April 2, 2013
Positives do not swell or bulge as they discharge, but shed the active material.
(g) The spongy lead may be bulged, or the positives may be buckled.
This occurs in the negatives also, though not to such an extent as in the positives.
If the positives are buckled, the negatives will be also, but not to the extent that the positives are.
In the case of the positives, there is no remedy, and the plates should be discarded.
- characterized by or expressing certainty or affirmationa positive answer
- composed of or possessing actual or specific qualities; reala positive benefit
- tending to emphasize what is good or laudable; constructivehe takes a very positive attitude when correcting pupils' mistakes
- tending towards progress or improvement; moving in a beneficial direction
- constructive rather than sceptical
- (of a concept) denoting the presence rather than the absence of some property
- independent of circumstances; absolute or unqualified
- (prenominal) informal (intensifier)a positive delight
- having a value greater than zeroa positive number
- designating, consisting of, or graduated in one or more quantities greater than zeropositive direction
- measured in a direction opposite to that regarded as negative
- having the same magnitude as but opposite sense to an equivalent negative quantity
- grammar denoting the usual form of an adjective as opposed to its comparative or superlative form
- biology indicating movement or growth towards a particular stimulus
- (of an electric charge) having an opposite polarity to the charge of an electron and the same polarity as the charge of a proton
- (of a body, system, ion, etc) having a positive electric charge; having a deficiency of electronsa positive ion
- (of a point in an electric circuit) having a higher electric potential than some other point with an assigned zero potential
- short for electropositive
- (of a lens) capable of causing convergence of a parallel beam of light
- med (of the results of an examination or test) indicating the existence or presence of a suspected disorder or pathogenic organism
- med (of the effect of a drug or therapeutic regimen) beneficial or satisfactory
- short for Rh positive
- (of a machine part) having precise motion with no hysteresis or backlash
- mainly US (of a government) directly involved in activities beyond the minimum maintenance of law and order, such as social welfare or the organization of scientific research
- economics of or denoting an analysis that is free of ethical, political, or value judgments
- astrology of, relating to, or governed by the group of signs of the zodiac that belong to the air and fire classifications, which are associated with a self-expressive spontaneous nature
- something that is positive
- maths a quantity greater than zero
- photog a print or slide showing a photographic image whose colours or tones correspond to those of the original subject
- grammar the positive degree of an adjective or adverb
- a positive object, such as a terminal or plate in a voltaic cell
Word Origin and History for positives
early 14c., originally a legal term meaning "formally laid down," from Old French positif (13c.) and directly from Latin positivus "settled by agreement, positive" (opposed to naturalis "natural"), from positus, past participle of ponere "put, place" (see position (n.)).
Sense of "absolute" is from mid-15c. Meaning in philosophy of "dealing only with facts" is from 1590s. Sense broadened to "expressed without qualification" (1590s), then "confident in opinion" (1660s); mathematical use is from 1704; in electricity, 1755. Psychological sense of "concentrating on what is constructive and good" is recorded from 1916.
1520s, from positive (adj.).
- Characterized by or displaying certainty, acceptance, or affirmation.
- Indicating the presence of a particular disease, condition, or organism.
- Indicating or characterized by response or motion toward the source of a stimulus, such as light.
- Relating to or designating electric charge of a sign opposite to that of an electron.
- Greater than zero.
- Having an electric charge or voltage greater than zero.
- Indicating the presence of a disease, condition, or organism, as a diagnostic test.