Meaning of NEGATIVE in English

I. ˈnegəd.iv, -ətiv adjective

Etymology: Middle French or Latin; Middle French negatif, from Latin negativus, from negatus + -ivus -ive


a. : that expresses or implies or contains negation : that denies or contradicts or prohibits or refuses

a negative answer

a negative opinion


(1) : denying a predicate of a subject or of a part of a subject or asserting the falsity of something

“no A is B”, “some A is not B”, and “it is false that A is B” are negative propositions

— contrasted with affirmative

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

not-white is a negative term


a. : that is marked by the absence of positive features

a colorless negative personality

b. : that is marked by features (as hostility, perversity, withdrawal) that oppose constructive treatment or development

delinquents retarded by their negative outlook on life


a. : less than zero and of such nature that when added to a like number of positive sign zero is produced

the negative number -2 added to +2 yields zero

b. : that is opposite in direction or position to an arbitrarily chosen regular direction or position


a. : relating to, charged with, or composed of negative electricity

b. : gaining electrons : electronegative 2a, acid 2a


a. : not affirming the presence of the organism or condition in question

a negative diagnosis

a negative reaction

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

a negative tropism

c. : less than the pressure of the atmosphere

the role of intrathoracic negative pressure in respiration


a. : being or exhibiting rotation to the left : levorotatory

b. : having or characterized by a smaller index of refraction for the extraordinary ray than for the ordinary ray — used of doubly refracting crystals

7. : having or reproducing the bright parts of the original subject as dark areas and the dark parts as light areas — used of a photographic image or of the material on which it is reproduced

8. geology

a. : frequently submerged

b. : subjected to downward movement or extensive erosion

c. : displaying less than normal gravitational or magnetic properties


a. : that is a no-trump response made on a weak hand in bridge for the purpose of keeping the bidding open

b. of a double in bridge : informatory

II. noun

( -s )


a. : a proposition by which something is denied or contradicted : an opposite or contradictory term or conception or sense ; specifically : a statement or judgment expressing or implying or containing denial or contradiction


(1) : a reply by which is indicated the withholding of assent about something : refusal

(2) archaic : a right of veto

(3) obsolete : a vote expressing opposition : adverse vote

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


a. : a word or particle or term or phrase (as not, no ) that expresses negation or denial — often used adverbially especially in radiotelephone communication

is he there? — ~

b. : a mathematical quantity or symbol that has a minus value


a. : the side that upholds the contradictory proposition in a debate — opposed to affirmative

b. : a speaker on the contradictory side in a debate

5. : the plate of a voltaic or electrolytic cell that is at the lower potential


a. : a photographic image that reproduces the bright parts of the photographed subject as dark areas and the dark parts as light areas, that is usually on transparent material, and that is used for printing positive pictures

b. : the material on which this image is reproduced

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

- in the negative

III. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb


a. : to refuse assent to (as a candidate, proposal, program) : refuse to accept


(1) : to reject by or as if by a vote

(2) : veto

2. : to demonstrate the falsity of : disprove

3. : contradict

4. : counteract

intransitive verb

: to deny or reject or refuse something

Synonyms: see deny , neutralize

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.