Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: positif, from Latin positivus, from positus; POSITION1


1 adjective
pos‧i‧tive1 S2 W2


if you are positive about things, you are hopeful and confident, and think about what is good in a situation rather than what is bad [≠ negative]
positive about
You've got to be more positive about your work.
positive attitude/approach/outlook etc
She's got a really positive attitude to life.
the power of positive thinking
' Think positive!' she advised herself.

good thing

good or useful [≠ negative]COLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
something positive positive thing/aspect positive effect/result/outcome positive experience be/have a positive influence (on somebody) positive role model (=someone good or successful that people want to be like) make a positive contribution (=do something good in a situation) on the positive side/on a positive note (=used when saying what is good about a situation) in a positive light (=showing the good things about something)
At least something positive has come out of the situation.
Write down all the positive things about your life.
The rural environment was having a positive effect on the children's health.
It's been a very positive experience for her.
the positive contribution to the community made by many older people
It's been a difficult time but, on the positive side, I feel physically fine.
Women should be portrayed in a more positive light.


if you take positive action, you do something definite in order to try and achieve something:
We need to take positive steps to improve the situation of families in poverty.
Positive action was required.
It's a relief to know that something positive is being done.


expressing support, agreement, or approval [≠ negative]
positive response/reaction
The response we've had from the public has been very positive.
We've had a lot of positive feedback from the people of this city.
positive about
Most people have been very positive about the show.


[not before noun] very sure, with no doubt at all that something is right or true [= certain]
positive (that)
Are you absolutely positive you locked the door?
'Are you sure about that?' 'Positive.'


showing that something is likely to succeed or improve:
The fact that he's breathing on his own again is a positive sign.


positive proof/evidence/identification etc

proof etc that shows that there is no doubt that something is true:
The witness made a positive identification.

scientific test

SM showing signs of the medical condition or chemical that is being looked for [≠ negative]:
The test results came back positive.
athletes who had tested positive for banned substances
children who are HIV positive


[only before noun] spoken used to emphasize how good or bad something is [= total]:
The journey was a positive nightmare.


technicalHMN a positive number is more than zero [≠ negative]


technicalHPE having the type of electrical charge that is carried by protons [≠ negative]:

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