Loading...

American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search

Positive


POS'ITIVE, adjective [Low Latin positivus.]

1. Properly, set; laid down; expressed; direct; explicit; opposed to implied; as, he told us in positive words; we have his positive declaration to the fact; the testimony is positive

2. Absolute; express; not admitting any condition or discretion. The commands of the admiral are positive

3. Absolute; real; existing in fact; opposed to negative, as positive good, which exists by itself, whereas negative good is merely the absence of evil; or opposed to relative or arbitrary, as beauty is not a positive thing, but depends on the different tastes of people.

4. Direct; express; opposed to circumstantial; as positive proof.

5. Confident; fully assured; applied to persons. The witness is very positive that he is correct in his testimony.

6. Dogmatic; over-confident in opinion or assertion.

Some positive persisting fops we know,

That, if once wrong, will needs be always so.

7. Settled by arbitrary appointment; opposed to natural or inbred.

In laws, that which is natural, bindeth universally; that which is positive not so.

Although no laws but positive are mutable, yet all are not mutable which are positive

8. Having power to act directly; as a positive voice in legislation.

Positive degree, in grammar, is the state of an adjective which denotes simple or absolute quality, without comparison or relation to increase or diminution; as wise, noble.

Positive electricity, according to Dr. Franklin, consists in a superabundance of the fluid in a substance. Others suppose it to consist in a tendency of the fluid outwards. It is not certain in what consists the difference between positive and negative electricity. positive electricity being produced by rubbing glass, is called the vitreous; negative electricity, produced by rubbing amber or resin, is called the resinous.

POS'ITIVE, noun What is capable of being affirmed; reality.

1. That which settles by absolute appointment.

2. In grammar, a word that affirms or asserts existence.