- noting a voice in the inflection of the verb in some languages which is used to indicate that the subject undergoes the action of the verb. Latin portātur, “he, she, or it is carried,” is in the passive voice.
- noting or pertaining to a construction similar to this in meaning, as English He is carried (opposed to active).
Origin of passive
Synonyms for passive
Antonyms for passive
Examples from the Web for passive
Contemporary Examples of passive
If we want to prevent others from your fate, we need to stop being so passive on these issues.Dear Leelah, We Will Fight On For You: A Letter to a Dead Trans Teen
January 1, 2015
These “smart benches” can do more than simply serve as passive producers of electricity.Parks and Regeneration
The Daily Beast
November 3, 2014
It turned Web surfers into passive consumers of published content.You Can Look It Up: The Wikipedia Story
October 19, 2014
The “passive” comments of Senator Feinstein reflect not just a specific response to ISIS but a larger worldview.
More and more, Obama seems like a passive observer of events who dismisses criticism as superficial.
Historical Examples of passive
When he was at an end of the reading, he regarded the passive woman at the desk with a new respect.Within the Law
Passive, patient, long-suffering she had been the while the mortifications and slights were for herself.In the Valley
And there was a passive congeniality between them, besides this active one.Little Dorrit
We ask for nothing but passive co-operation--that is, a free passage for our troops.Freeland
Similarly, the association of ideas is passive, and in consequence is a kind of passion.Initiation into Philosophy
- containing no source of power and therefore capable only of attenuating a signala passive network
- not capable of amplifying a signal or controlling a functiona passive communications satellite
- the passive voice
- a passive verb
Word Origin for passive
late 14c., in grammatical sense (opposed to active), Old French passif "suffering, undergoing hardship" (14c.) and directly from Latin passivus "capable of feeling or suffering," from pass-, past participle stem of pati "to suffer" (see passion). Meaning "not active" is first recorded late 15c.; sense of "enduring suffering without resistance" is from 1620s. Related: Passively. Passive resistance first attested 1819 in Scott's "Ivanhoe," used throughout 19c.; re-coined by Gandhi c.1906 in South Africa. Passive-aggressive with reference to behavior is attested by 1971.