positive [päz′ə tiv]
[ME positif < OFr < L positivus < positus: see POSITION]
1. formally or arbitrarily set; conventional; artificial [a positive law]
2. definitely set; explicitly laid down; admitting of no question or modification; express; precise; specific [positive instructions]
a) having the mind set or settled; confident; assured [a positive person]
b) overconfident or dogmatic
4. showing resolution or agreement; affirmative; certain [a positive answer]
5. tending in the direction regarded as that of increase, progress, etc. [clockwise motion is positive]
6. making a definite contribution; constructive [positive criticism]
7. unrelated to anything else; independent of circumstances; absolute; unqualified
8. that has, or is considered as having, real existence in itself, not just in the absence of other attributes [a positive good]
9. based, or asserted as based, on reality or facts [positive proof]
10. concerned only with real things and experience; empirical; practical
11. Informal complete; absolute; out-and-out [a positive fool]
12. Biol. directed toward the source of a stimulus [positive tropism ]
13. Elec.
a) of, generating, or charged with positive electricity
b) having a deficiency of electrons
14. Gram.
a) of an adjective or adverb in its simple, uninflected or unmodified form or degree; neither comparative nor superlative
b) of this degree
15. Math. designating a quantity greater than zero, or one to be added; plus
16. Med. having or demonstrating, showing, or proving the presence or existence of a condition, an infection, symptoms, bacteria, etc. [a patient who is positive for TB, a positive TB test]
17. Photog. with the light and shade corresponding to those of the subject
something positive, as a degree, quality, condition, etc.; specif.,
a) Elec. a terminal, electrode, or plate that attracts a flow of electrons from a negative terminal, electrode, or plate, as in a storage battery or dry cell
b) Gram. the positive degree; also, a word or form in this degree
c) Math. a quantity greater than zero, or one to be added; plus quantity
d) Photog. a photographic print, or a film for use in a projector, on which light and shadow correspond to what they were in the subject

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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  • positive — c.1300, a legal term meaning formally laid down, from O.Fr. positif (13c.), from L. positivus settled by arbitrary agreement, positive (opposed to naturalis natural ), from positus, pp. of ponere put, place (see POSITION (Cf. position)). Sense… …   Etymology dictionary

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