View synonyms for positive


[ poz-i-tiv ]


  1. explicitly stated, stipulated, or expressed:

    a positive acceptance of the agreement.

    Synonyms: precise, clear, categorical, unequivocal, explicit

    Antonyms: indefinite

  2. admitting of no question:

    positive proof.

    Synonyms: indisputable, incontrovertible

    Antonyms: doubtful

  3. stated; express; emphatic:

    a positive denial.

  4. confident in opinion or assertion; fully assured:

    He is positive that he will win the contest.

    Synonyms: unquestioning

    Antonyms: uncertain, unsure

  5. overconfident or dogmatic:

    The less he knows, the more positive he gets.

  6. without relation to or comparison with other things; not relative or comparative; absolute.
  7. Informal. downright; out-and-out:

    She's a positive genius.

  8. determined by enactment or convention; arbitrarily laid down:

    positive law.

  9. emphasizing what is laudable, hopeful, or to the good; constructive:

    a positive attitude toward the future; positive things to say about a painting.

  10. encouraging or noting a healthy or balanced outlook toward something, especially toward sex and sexuality (used in combination): the body-positive movement;

    sex-positive attitudes;

    the body-positive movement;

    a gay-positive movie.

  11. not speculative or theoretical; practical:

    a positive approach to the problem.

  12. possessing an actual force, being, existence, etc.
  13. Philosophy.
    1. constructive and sure, rather than skeptical.
    2. concerned with or based on matters of experience:

      positive philosophy.

  14. showing or expressing approval or agreement; favorable:

    a positive reaction to the speech.

  15. consisting in or characterized by the presence or possession of distinguishing or marked qualities or features ( negative ):

    Light is positive, darkness negative.

  16. noting the presence of such qualities, as a term.
  17. measured or proceeding in a direction assumed as beneficial, progressive, or auspicious:

    a positive upturn in the stock market.

  18. Electricity.
    1. of, relating to, or characterized by positive electricity.
    2. 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.
  19. of, relating to, or noting the north pole of a magnet.
  20. Chemistry. (of an element or group) tending to lose electrons and become positively charged; basic.
  21. 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 ).
  22. Medicine/Medical.
    1. (of blood, affected tissue, etc.) indicating the presence of a specified medical condition or substance:

      Her urine was positive for opiates.

    2. (of a diagnostic test) indicating the presence of the medical condition or substance tested for:

      a positive test for tuberculosis.

    3. (of a person) diagnosed as having a specified medical condition, or having a specified substance in the body (often used in combination): She tested positive for lupus.

      He's HIV positive.

      She tested positive for lupus.

  23. Biochemistry. Rh factor.
  24. Mathematics. noting a quantity greater than zero.
  25. (of government) assuming control or regulation of activities beyond those involved merely with the maintenance of law and order.
  26. Biology. oriented or moving toward the focus of excitation:

    a positive tropism.

  27. Photography. denoting a print or transparency showing the brightness values as they are in the subject.
  28. 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.


  1. something positive.
  2. a positive quality or characteristic.
  3. a positive quantity or symbol.
  4. a positive test result:

    The athlete was disqualified from competing because his drug test came back a positive.

  5. Grammar.
    1. the positive degree.
    2. a form in the positive, as good or smooth.
  6. Photography. a positive image, as on a print or transparency.


/ ˈpɒzɪtɪv /


  1. characterized by or expressing certainty or affirmation

    a positive answer

  2. composed of or possessing actual or specific qualities; real

    a positive benefit

  3. tending to emphasize what is good or laudable; constructive

    he takes a very positive attitude when correcting pupils' mistakes

  4. tending towards progress or improvement; moving in a beneficial direction
  5. philosophy
    1. constructive rather than sceptical
    2. (of a concept) denoting the presence rather than the absence of some property
  6. independent of circumstances; absolute or unqualified
  7. informal.
    prenominal (intensifier)

    a positive delight

  8. maths
    1. having a value greater than zero

      a positive number

    2. designating, consisting of, or graduated in one or more quantities greater than zero

      positive direction

  9. maths
    1. measured in a direction opposite to that regarded as negative
    2. having the same magnitude as but opposite sense to an equivalent negative quantity
  10. grammar denoting the usual form of an adjective as opposed to its comparative or superlative form
  11. biology indicating movement or growth towards a particular stimulus
  12. physics
    1. (of an electric charge) having an opposite polarity to the charge of an electron and the same polarity as the charge of a proton
    2. (of a body, system, ion, etc) having a positive electric charge; having a deficiency of electrons

      a positive ion

    3. (of a point in an electric circuit) having a higher electric potential than some other point with an assigned zero potential
  13. short for electropositive
  14. (of a lens) capable of causing convergence of a parallel beam of light
  15. med (of the results of an examination or test) indicating the existence or presence of a suspected disorder or pathogenic organism
  16. med (of the effect of a drug or therapeutic regimen) beneficial or satisfactory
  17. short for Rh positive
  18. (of a machine part) having precise motion with no hysteresis or backlash
  19. (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
  20. economics of or denoting an analysis that is free of ethical, political, or value judgments
  21. 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


  1. something that is positive
  2. maths a quantity greater than zero
  3. photog a print or slide showing a photographic image whose colours or tones correspond to those of the original subject
  4. grammar the positive degree of an adjective or adverb
  5. a positive object, such as a terminal or plate in a voltaic cell
  6. music
    1. Also calledpositive organ a medieval nonportable organ with one manual and no pedals Compare portative organ
    2. a variant spelling of positif


/ pŏzĭ-tĭv /

  1. Greater than zero.
  2. Having an electric charge or voltage greater than zero.
  3. Indicating the presence of a disease, condition, or organism, as a diagnostic test.

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Derived Forms

  • ˈpositiveness, noun

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Other Words From

  • posi·tive·ness noun
  • over·posi·tive adjective
  • over·posi·tive·ly adverb
  • over·posi·tive·ness noun
  • quasi-posi·tive adjective
  • quasi-posi·tive·ly adverb
  • super·posi·tive adjective
  • super·posi·tive·ly adverb
  • super·posi·tive·ness noun
  • un·posi·tive adjective
  • un·posi·tive·ly adverb
  • un·posi·tive·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of positive1

First recorded in 1250–1300; from Latin positīvus; replacing Middle English positif, from Middle French, from Latin, as above. See posit, -ive

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Word History and Origins

Origin of positive1

C13: from Late Latin positīvus positive, agreed on an arbitrary basis, from pōnere to place

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Example Sentences

That’s either a positive or a negative, depending on how you weigh the evidence.

She hopes everyone will take the positives from distance learning with them when they go back to in-person classes.

Federal defense attorney Jeremey Warren said although many of his clients in the facility have tested positive, it’s been difficult for him to get information about what’s happening inside.

I asked Thom Mayer if he thought the positive tests meant the season might be over before it could begin.

It may be the thing that we get more positive comments about from customers than anything else.

From Ozy

There was a lot of positive feedback from people interested in non-gender binary people.

But he, like many people using dating apps whatever their sexual identity, remains stoutly positive.

And the fact that satire unnerves the intolerant is evidence of its positive power.

The trials produced positive results, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in November.

And more than that—the world is ending because of the changes that many of us see as positive.

He was positive he had seen some one enter the room, go to the chair, and take the money from his pockets.

At last his anxiety reached a point where he was positive that if he received an adverse decision, it would surely kill him.

Some hidden magnetism burst from him like an aura, and his cold pasty face and light gray eyes flamed into positive beauty.

It is a sensitive test, and, when positive, is absolute proof of the presence of blood.

There is no proof positive that it was henceforth his invariable rule to put this kind of finish.


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When To Use

What are other ways to say positive?

To be positive of something is to be fully assured of its truth or accuracy. How is positive different from certain, confident, and sure? Find out on




position paperpositive caster