Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Negative

Neg′a-tive

(nĕg′ȧ-tĭv)
,
Adj.
[F.
négatif
, L.
negativus
, fr.
negare
to deny. See
Negation
.]
1.
Denying; implying, containing, or asserting denial, negation or refusal; returning the answer no to an inquiry or request; refusing assent;
as, a
negative
answer; a
negative
opinion
; – opposed to
affirmative
.
If thou wilt confess,
Or else be impudently
negative
.
Shakespeare
Denying me any power of a
negative
voice.
Eikon Basilike.
Something between an affirmative bow and a
negative
shake.
Dickens.
2.
Not positive; without affirmative statement or demonstration; indirect; consisting in the absence of something; privative;
as, a
negative
argument;
negative
evidence; a
negative
morality;
negative
criticism.
There in another way of denying Christ, . . . which is
negative
, when we do not acknowledge and confess him.
South.
3.
(Logic)
Asserting absence of connection between a subject and a predicate;
as, a
negative
proposition
.
4.
(Photog.)
Of or pertaining to a picture upon glass or other material, in which the lights and shades of the original, and the relations of right and left, are reversed.
5.
(Chem.)
Metalloidal; nonmetallic; – contrasted with
positive
or
basic
;
as, the nitro group is
negative
.
☞ This word, derived from electro-negative, is now commonly used in a more general sense, when acidiferous is the intended signification.
Negative crystal
.
(a)
A cavity in a mineral mass, having the form of a crystal.
(b)
A crystal which has the power of negative double refraction. See
refraction
.
negative electricity
(Elec.)
,
the kind of electricity which is developed upon resin or ebonite when rubbed, or which appears at that pole of a voltaic battery which is connected with the plate most attacked by the exciting liquid; – formerly called
resinous electricity
. Opposed to
positive electricity
. Formerly, according to Franklin’s theory of a single electric fluid, negative electricity was supposed to be electricity in a degree below saturation, or the natural amount for a given body. See
Electricity
.
Negative eyepiece
.
(Opt.)
see under
Eyepiece
.
Negative quantity
(Alg.)
,
a quantity preceded by the negative sign, or which stands in the relation indicated by this sign to some other quantity. See
Negative sign
(below).
Negative rotation
,
right-handed rotation. See
Right-handed
, 3.
Negative sign
,
the sign -, or
minus
(opposed in signification to +, or
plus
), indicating that the quantity to which it is prefixed is to be subtracted from the preceding quantity, or is to be reckoned from zero or cipher in the opposite direction to that of quanties having the sign plus either expressed or understood; thus, in
a - b
, b is to be substracted from a, or regarded as opposite to it in value; and -10° on a thermometer means 10° below the zero of the scale.

Neg′a-tive

(nĕg′ȧ-tĭv)
,
Noun.
[Cf. F.
négative
.]
1.
A proposition by which something is denied or forbidden; a conception or term formed by prefixing the negative particle to one which is positive; an opposite or contradictory term or conception.
This is a known rule in divinity, that there is no command that runs in
negatives
but couches under it a positive duty.
South.
2.
A word used in denial or refusal;
as,
not
,
no
.
☞ In Old England two or more negatives were often joined together for the sake of emphasis, whereas now such expressions are considered ungrammatical, being chiefly heard in iliterate speech. A double negative is now sometimes used as nearly or quite equivalent to an affirmative.
No
wine
ne
drank she, neither white nor red.
Chaucer.
These eyes that never did
nor never
shall
So much as frown on you.
Shakespeare
3.
The refusal or withholding of assents; veto.
If a kind without his kingdom be, in a civil sense, nothing, then . . . his
negative
is as good as nothing.
Milton.
4.
That side of a question which denies or refuses, or which is taken by an opposing or denying party; the relation or position of denial or opposition;
as, the question was decided in the
negative
.
5.
(Photog.)
A picture upon glass or other material, in which the light portions of the original are represented in some opaque material (usually reduced silver), and the dark portions by the uncovered and transparent or semitransparent ground of the picture.
☞ A negative is chiefly used for producing photographs by means of passing light through it and acting upon sensitized paper, thus producing on the paper a positive picture.
6.
(Elect.)
The negative plate of a voltaic or electrolytic cell.
Negative pregnant
(Law)
,
a negation which implies an affirmation.

Neg′a-tive

(nĕg′ȧ-tĭv)
,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Negatived
(nĕg′ȧ-tĭvd)
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Negativing
.]
1.
To prove unreal or untrue; to disprove.
The omission or infrequency of such recitals does not
negative
the existence of miracles.
Paley.
2.
To reject by vote; to refuse to enact or sanction;
as, the Senate
negatived
the bill
.
3.
To neutralize the force of; to counteract.

Webster 1828 Edition


Negative

NEGATIVE

,
Adj.
1.
Implying denial or negation; opposed to affirmative, as a negative proposition is that which denies. Matter is not spirit.
2.
Implying absence; opposed to positive.
There is a negative way of denying Christ, when we do not acknowledge and confess him.
3.
Having the power of stopping or restraining. A negative voice in legislation is a voice or vote to prevent the passing of a law or decree.
Negative sign, in algebra, the sign of subtraction , a sign which indicates that the quantity to which it is prefixed is to be subtracted. It is opposed to positive ro affirmative; as ab-n.
Negative electricity, according to Dr. Franklin, is a deficiency of the fluid in a substance, or less than the substance naturally contains.

NEGATIVE

,
Noun.
1.
A proposition by which something is denied; as, matter has not the power of moving itself.
2.
A word that denies; as not, no.

Definition 2021


negative

negative

See also: négative

English

Adjective

negative (comparative more negative, superlative most negative)

  1. not positive or neutral
  2. (physics) of electrical charge of an electron and related particles [from the 18th c.]
  3. (mathematics) of number, less than zero
  4. (linguistics, logic) denying a proposition
  5. damaging; undesirable; unfavourable
    • The high exchange rate will have a negative effect on our profits.
      Customers didn't like it: feedback was mostly negative.
  6. pessimistic; not tending to see the bright side of things. (Often used pejoratively.)
    • I don't like to hang around him very much because he can be so negative about his petty problems.
  7. Of or relating to a photographic image in which the colours of the original, and the relations of right and left, are reversed.
  8. (chemistry) metalloidal; nonmetallic; contrasted with positive or basic.
    The nitro group is negative.
  9. (New Age jargon) (pejorative) bad, unwanted, disagreeable, potentially damaging, to be avoided, unpleasant, difficult, painful; (often precedes 'energy', 'feeling', 'emotion' or 'thought').
    • 2009, Christopher Johns, Becoming a Reflective Practitioner, John Wiley & Sons, page 15
      Negative feelings can be worked through and their energy converted into positive energy... In crisis, normal patterns of self-organization fail, resulting in anxiety (negative energy).
    • 2011, Joe Vitale, The Key: the missing secret for attracting anything you want, Body, Mind & Spirit,
      The threat of negative feelings may seem very real, but they are nothing more than mirages... Allow the unwanted feelings to evaporate and dissolve as the mirages that they are.
    • 2011, Anne Jones, Healing Negative Energies, Hachette, page 118
      If you have been badly affected by negative energy a salt bath is wonderful for clearing and cleansing yourself... Salt attracts negative energy and will draw it away from you.
  10. Characterized by the presence of features which do not support a hypothesis.

Synonyms

Antonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Noun

negative (plural negatives)

  1. refusal or withholding of assents; veto, prohibition [from the 15th c.]
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 2, ch. XV, Practical — Devotional
      Geoffrey Riddell Bishop of Ely […] made a request of him for timber from his woods towards certain edifices going on at Glemsford. The Abbot, a great builder himself, disliked the request; could not however give it a negative.
  2. (law) a right of veto
    • 1787, Luther Martin, cited in The Constitutional Convention Of 1787: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia Of America's Founding (2005), Volume 1, page 391
      And as to the Constitutionality of laws, that point will come before the Judges in their proper official character. In this character they have a negative on the laws.
    • 1788, Alexander Hamilton, Federalist no. 68
      The qualified negative of the President differs widely from this absolute negative of the British sovereign; [...]
    • 1983, INS v. Chadha, Opinion of the Court
      In the convention there does not seem to have been much diversity of opinion on the subject of the propriety of giving to the president a negative on the laws.
  3. (photography) an image in which dark areas represent light ones, and the converse [from the 19th c.]
  4. (grammar) a word that indicates negation
  5. (mathematics) a negative quantity
  6. (weightlifting): A rep performed with weight in which the muscle begins at maximum contraction and is slowly extended; a movement performed using only the eccentric phase of muscle movement.
  7. The negative plate of a voltaic or electrolytic cell.

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

negative (third-person singular simple present negatives, present participle negativing, simple past and past participle negatived)

  1. To veto; to refuse
    • 1887, L. T. Meade, The Palace Beautiful: A Story for Girls, Chapter XVIII,
      Poppy earnestly begged to be allowed to go with Jasmine on the roof, but this the good lady negatived with horror.
    • 1924, Herman Melville, Billy Budd, London: Constable & Co., Chapter 12,
      And being of warm blood he had not the phlegm tacitly to negative any proposition by unresponsive inaction.
  2. To contradict
    • 1892, Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Chapter XXXIII,
      "A comely maid, that," said the other.
      "True, comely enough. But unless I make a great mistake—" And he negatived the remainder of the definition forthwith.
  3. To disprove
    • 1882, J. H. Riddell, "Old Mrs Jones" in The Collected Ghost Stories of Mrs. J. H. Riddell, Dover, 1977, page 192,
      At one time an idea got abroad that the whole tale of her fortune had been a myth; [] but the boastings of various servants who declared they had seen her with “rolls on rolls” of banknotes [] negatived the truth of this statement.
  4. To make ineffective, neutralize
    • 1918, Lytton Strachey, Eminent Victorians, New York: Garden City, pages 183-4,
      The War Office [said Miss Nightingale] is a very slow office, an enormously expensive office, and one in which the Minister's intentions can be entirely negatived by all his sub-departments, and those of each of the sub-departments by every other.
    • 1959, Flavius Josephus, The Jewish War, translated by G. A. Williamson, Penguin, 1970, Chapter 5, page 98,
      Yet he made his largesse daily more lavish, as he saw the king negativing his efforts by taking care of the orphans and showing his remorse for the murder of his sons by his tenderness towards their little ones.

Interjection

negative

  1. (signalling, law) An elaborate synonym for the word No.

Anagrams


Danish

Adjective

negative

  1. definite of negativ
  2. plural of negativ

German

Adjective

negative

  1. inflected form of negativ

Italian

Noun

negative f

  1. plural of negativa

Anagrams


Latin

Adjective

negātīve

  1. vocative masculine singular of negātīvus

Norwegian Bokmål

Adjective

negative

  1. definite singular of negativ
  2. plural of negativ

Norwegian Nynorsk

Adjective

negative

  1. definite singular of negativ
  2. plural of negativ

Swedish

Adjective

negative

  1. absolute definite natural masculine form of negativ.