Meaning of NEGATIVE in English

adj., n. & v.


1. expressing or implying denial, prohibition, or refusal (a negative vote; a negative answer).

2 (of a person or attitude): a lacking positive attributes; apathetic; pessimistic. b opposing or resisting; uncooperative.

3 marked by the absence of qualities (a negative reaction; a negative result from the test).

4 of the opposite nature to a thing regarded as positive (debt is negative capital).

5 Algebra (of a quantity) less than zero, to be subtracted from others or from zero (opp. POSITIVE).

6 Electr. a of the kind of charge carried by electrons (opp. POSITIVE). b containing or producing such a charge.


1. a negative statement, reply, or word (hard to prove a negative).

2 Photog. a an image with black and white reversed or colours replaced by complementary ones, from which positive pictures are obtained. b a developed film or plate bearing such an image.

3 a negative quality; an absence of something.

4 (prec. by the) a position opposing the affirmative.

5 Logic NEGATION 6.

1. refuse to accept or countenance; veto; reject.

2 disprove (an inference or hypothesis).

3 contradict (a statement).

4 neutralize (an effect).

Phrases and idioms:

in the negative with negative effect; so as to reject a proposal etc.; no (the answer was in the negative). negative evidence (or instance) evidence of the non-occurrence of something. negative feedback

1. the return of part of an output signal to the input, tending to decrease the amplification etc.

2 feedback that tends to diminish or counteract the process giving rise to it. negative geotropism see GEOTROPISM. negative income tax an amount credited as allowance to a taxed income, and paid as benefit when it exceeds debited tax. negative pole the south-seeking pole of a magnet. negative proposition Logic NEGATION 6. negative quantity joc. nothing. negative sign a symbol (-) indicating subtraction or a value less than zero. negative virtue abstention from vice.


negatively adv. negativeness n. negativity n.

Etymology: ME f. OF negatif -ive or LL negativus (as NEGATE)

Oxford English vocab.      Оксфордский английский словарь.