Meaning of NEGATIVE in English

I. ˈne-gə-tiv adjective

Date: 15th century


a. : marked by denial, prohibition, or refusal

received a negative answer

also : marked by absence, withholding, or removal of something positive

the negative motivation of shame — Garrett Hardin


(1) : denying a predicate of a subject or a part of a subject

“no A is B” is a negative proposition

(2) : denoting the absence or the contradictory of something

nontoxic is a negative term

(3) : expressing negation

negative particles such as no and not

c. : adverse , unfavorable

the reviews were mostly negative


a. : lacking positive qualities ; especially : disagreeable

b. : marked by features of hostility, withdrawal, or pessimism that hinder or oppose constructive treatment or development

a negative outlook

negative criticism

c. : promoting a person or cause by criticizing or attacking the competition

ran a negative campaign

negative advertising



(1) : less than zero and opposite in sign to a positive number that when added to the given number yields zero

-2 is a negative number

(2) : having more outgo than income : constituting a loss

negative cash flow

negative worth

b. : extending or generated in a direction opposite to an arbitrarily chosen regular direction or position

negative angle


a. : being, relating to, or charged with electricity of which the electron is the elementary unit

b. : having more electrons than protons

a negative ion


(1) : having lower electric potential and constituting the part toward which the current flows from the external circuit

the negative pole

(2) : being the electron-emitting electrode of an electron tube


a. : not affirming the presence of a condition, substance, or organism suspected to be present ; also : having a test result indicating the absence especially of a condition, substance, or organism

she is HIV negative

b. : directed or moving away from a source of stimulation

negative tropism

c. : less than the pressure of the atmosphere

negative pressure

6. : having the light and dark parts in approximately inverse relation to those of the original photographic subject

7. of a lens : diverging light rays and forming a virtual inverted image

• neg·a·tive·ly adverb

• neg·a·tive·ness noun

• neg·a·tiv·i·ty ˌne-gə-ˈti-və-tē noun

II. noun

Date: 1571



(1) : a reply that indicates the withholding of assent : refusal

(2) archaic : a right of veto

(3) obsolete : an adverse vote : veto

b. : a proposition which denies or contradicts another ; especially : the one of a pair of propositions in which negation is expressed


a. : something that is the opposite or negation of something else

b. : drawback , liability


a. : an expression (as the word no ) of negation or denial

b. : a negative number

4. : the side that upholds the contradictory proposition in a debate

5. : a negative photographic image on transparent material used for printing positive pictures ; also : the material that carries such an image

6. : a reverse impression taken from a piece of sculpture or ceramics

7. : a negative result (as of a test)

a high rate of false negative s

also : a test yielding such a result

III. transitive verb

( -tived ; -tiv·ing )

Date: 1706


a. : to refuse assent to

b. : to reject by or as if by a vote

2. : to demonstrate the falsity of

3. : to deny the truth, reality, or validity of

4. : neutralize , counteract

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.