Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of negative
Meaning of negative by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Latin negativus ( “that denies, negative” ), from negare ( “to deny” ); see negate .


    • ( Canada ) IPA: /ˈnɛ( e )ɡəˌɾɪv/
    • ( UK ) IPA: /ˈnɛɡ.ə.tɪv/


    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
    6. pessimistic; not tending to see the bright side of things. ( Often used pejoratively. )
    7. ( New Age jargon ) ( pejorative ) bad, unwanted, disagreeable, potentially damaging, to be avoided, excessively difficult; ( often precedes 'energy', 'feeling', 'emotion' or 'thought' ).



    Related terms


    negative ( plural: negatives )

    1. refusal or withholding of assents; veto, prohibition [from the 15th c.]
    2. ( photography ) an image in which dark areas represent light ones, and the converse [from the 19th c.]
    3. ( grammar ) a word that indicates negation
    4. ( mathematics ) a negative quantity
    5. ( 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 .


    • agentive

Explanation of negative by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. vote against

    1. involving disadvantage or harm

    2. minus ( or negative ) factors
    3. expressing or consisting of a negation or refusal or denial

    4. having a negative charge

    5. electrons are negative
    6. designed or tending to discredit, especially without positive or helpful suggestions

    7. negative criticism
    8. having the quality of something harmful or unpleasant

    9. ran a negative campaign
      delinquents retarded by their negative outlook on life
    10. characterized by or displaying negation or denial or opposition or resistance

    11. a negative outlook on life
      a colorless negative personality
      a negative evaluation
      a negative reaction to an advertising campaign
    12. less than zero

    13. a negative number
    14. reckoned in a direction opposite to that regarded as positive

    15. negative interest rates
    16. not indicating the presence of microorganisms or disease or a specific condition

    17. the HIV test was negative
    1. a piece of photographic film showing an image with light and shade or colors reversed

    2. a reply of denial

    3. he answered in the negative

    Definition of negative by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Negative ( nĕgȧtĭv ), a. [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. Shak.

      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 cavity in a mineral mass, having the form of a crystal. 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.

    2. Negative ( nĕgȧtĭv ), n. [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. Shak.

      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.

    3. Negative ( nĕgȧtĭv ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Negatived ( nĕgȧtĭvd ); 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.