- 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 passively
Contemporary Examples of passively
All while the international community observed, if not passively, impotently.The Radicals Who Slaughtered a Synagogue
November 19, 2014
For some of these kids, video games are a way to passively experience the shock and awe of combat.Most Young Gamers Unfit For Call of Duty
October 8, 2013
But Tehran has rarely been content with passively benefitting from these crises.Tehran's Pitiful Bid For Attention
September 21, 2012
But Mrs. M is capable of doing much more than just passively standing by her man in his moment of crisis.The Unflappable Wendi Deng Murdoch
July 19, 2011
Then I was supposed to passively take his arm and stroll offstage.Top 15 Palin Book Leaks
The Daily Beast
November 14, 2009
Historical Examples of passively
We stood by passively while the masterful doctor heckled and hustled the unhappy Center of Culture into his car.A Woman Named Smith
Marie Conway Oemler
The Countess was neither satisfied nor convinced; but she was weary and wanted rest, and so acquiesced listlessly and passively.Barren Honour: A Novel
George A. Lawrence
The king of Prussia did not passively bear all the imputations that were fixed upon his conduct.The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II.
Passively she submitted to his caresses, though she loathed them and him from the bottom of her soul.The Mystery of Lincoln's Inn
The human masses execrate the scourge, but accept it passively.The Forerunners
- 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.