[poz-i-tiv-lee or especially for 3, poz-i-tiv-lee]


with certainty; absolutely: The statement is positively true.
decidedly; unquestionably; definitely: His conduct is positively shocking.


(used to express strong affirmation) yes: Do you plan to go to the party? Positively!

Origin of positively

First recorded in 1585–95; positive + -ly
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for positively

Contemporary Examples of positively

Historical Examples of positively

  • When he did go it was always understood to be positively for not more than two weeks.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • This perpetual atmosphere of duplicity was positively distasteful.


    W. A. Fraser

  • And my confidence, Linda, is positively supreme that she could not do it.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • Positively, there did seem to be a kind of stifled murmur, within!

    The Paradise of Children

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • He is confined to his room, and is positively starving for company.

    The Little Colonel

    Annie Fellows Johnston

British Dictionary definitions for positively



in a positive manner
(intensifier)he disliked her: in fact, he positively hated her

sentence substitute

unquestionably; absolutely
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for positively

mid-15c., "in a definite way," from positive (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "absolutely" is from 1777.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper