I. ac ‧ tive 1 S2 W2 /ˈæktɪv/ BrE AmE adjective
[ Word Family: noun : ↑ act , ↑ action ≠ ↑ inaction , ↑ activity ≠ ↑ inactivity , ↑ reaction , ↑ interaction , ↑ overacting ; adjective : ↑ acting , ↑ active ≠ ↑ inactive ; verb : ↑ act ≠ ↑ overact ; adverb : ↑ actively ]
[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: activus , from agere ; ⇨ ↑ ACT 1 ]
1 . BUSY always busy doing things, especially physical or mental activities OPP inactive :
games for active youngsters
She’s over 80, but is still very active.
My father always led a very active life.
a child with a very active imagination
2 . INVOLVED involved in an organization or activity and doing lots of practical things to achieve your aims:
He became politically active at college.
be active in (doing) something
The Bureau is active in promoting overseas investment.
take/play an active part/role in something
Encourage students to take an active part in discussions.
She took an active interest in local charities.
the importance of active participation by elderly people in the life of the community
We’re taking active steps (=doing practical things) to deal with the problem.
We maintain active links with other European universities.
He is an active member of the Labour Party.
3 . FUNCTIONING operating in a way that is normal or expected OPP inactive :
The virus is active even at low temperatures.
4 . DOING SOMETHING doing something regularly:
sexually active teenagers
5 . VOLCANO an active ↑ volcano is likely to explode at any time:
The volcano became active last year with a series of eruptions.
6 . GRAMMAR an active verb or sentence has the person or thing doing the action as its ↑ subject . In ‘The boy kicked the ball’, the verb ‘kick’ is active ⇨ ↑ passive 1 (2)
7 . CHEMICAL producing a chemical reaction:
nicotine, the active ingredient in tobacco
—actively adverb :
Carol was actively involved in the local sports club.
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)
▪ an active life
He lived a full and active life.
▪ an active lifestyle
Studies show that an active lifestyle can reduce your chance of developing heart disease.
▪ an active mind (=when someone is able to think quickly and clearly)
A fit body is crucial if you want an active mind.
▪ an active imagination (=when someone is able to form pictures or ideas easily)
Some of the children have an overactive imagination.
▪ keep/remain active
We try to keep the patients active by taking them for a daily walk.
▪ physically active
You need to become more physically active and eat less.
▪ highly/intensely active
an intensely active child
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
▪ an active role
Most men play a less active role in family life than women.
▪ an active part
Our members take an active part in fund-raising.
▪ an active member
She became an active member of the Geological Society.
▪ an active interest
As a teenager he began to take an active interest in politics.
▪ active participation/involvement (=in an activity or event)
Active participation in community life is important in small towns and villages.
The school encourages the active involvement of parents.
▪ an active participant
The student must be an active participant in the learning process.
▪ active support (=encouragement or help)
He wrote the book with the active support of his wife, Pam.
▪ an active supporter
The company is an active supporter of animal rights groups.
▪ play an active role in something
Do you play an active role in your community?
▪ take an active part in something
Most of the students take an active part in sports.
▪ take active steps to do something
You should take active steps towards reducing stress.
▪ take an active interest in something
Not many young people take an active interest in gardening.
▪ politically active
As a student, he was politically active.
▪ economically active
The proportion of men aged 65–69 who are economically active has decreased.
II. active 2 BrE AmE noun
the active the active form of a verb, for example ‘destroyed’ in the sentence ‘Enemy planes destroyed the village.’
⇨ ↑ passive 2