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



    From French passif, from Latin passivus ( “serving to express the suffering of an action; in late Latin literally capable of suffering or feeling” ), from pati ( “to suffer” ), past participle of passus; compare patient .


    • enPR: păsʹ-ĭv, IPA: /ˈpæs.ɪv/, SAMPA: /"p{s.Iv/
    • Rhymes: -æsɪv
    • Hyphenation: pas‧sive


    passive ( comparative more passive, superlative most passive )

    solid #DDD">Examples ( being in the passie voice )

    The passive form of “A meteorite hit the earth” is “The earth was hit by a meteorite.”

    1. Being subjected to an action without producing a reaction .
    2. Taking no action .
      He remained passive during the protest .
    3. ( grammar ) Being in the passive voice .
    4. ( psychology ) Being inactive and submissive in a relationship, especially in a sexual one .
    5. ( Can we verify( + ) this sense? ) ( finance ) Not bearing interest .
    6. ( finance ) Not participating in management .


    • active
    • aggressive


    passive ( plural: passives )

    1. ( uncountable, grammar ) The passive voice of verbs .
    2. ( countable, grammar ) A form of a verb that is in the passive voice .

    External links

    • passive in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • passive in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

Explanation of passive by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. lacking in energy or will

    2. Much benevolence of the passive order may be traced to a disinclination to inflict pain upon oneself- George Meredith
    3. expressing that the subject of the sentence is the patient of the action denoted by the verb

    4. academics seem to favor passive sentences
    5. peacefully resistant in response to injustice

    6. passive resistance
    1. the voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is the recipient ( not the source ) of the action denoted by the verb

    2. `The ball was thrown by the boy' uses the passive voice
      `The ball was thrown' is an abbreviated passive

    Definition of passive by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Passive a. [L. passivus: cf. F. passif. See Passion.]
      1. Not active, but acted upon; suffering or receiving impressions or influences; as, “they were passive spectators, not actors in the scene”.

      The passive air

      Upbore their nimble tread. Milton.

      The mind is wholly passive in the reception of all its simple ideas. Locke.

      2. Receiving or enduring without either active sympathy or active resistance; without emotion or excitement; patient; not opposing; unresisting; as, “passive obedience; passive submission.”

      The best virtue, passive fortitude. Massinger.

      3. ( Chem. ) Inactive; inert; unreactive; not showing strong affinity; as, “red phosphorus is comparatively passive”.

      4. ( Med. ) Designating certain morbid conditions, as hemorrhage or dropsy, characterized by relaxation of the vessels and tissues, with deficient vitality and lack of reaction in the affected tissues.

      Passive congestion ( Med. ), congestion due to obstruction to the return of the blood from the affected part. -- Passive iron ( Chem. ), iron which has been subjected to the action of heat, of strong nitric acid, chlorine, etc. It is then not easily acted upon by acids. -- Passive movement ( Med. ), a movement of a part, in order to exercise it, made without the assistance of the muscles which ordinarily move the part. -- Passive obedience ( as used by writers on government ), obedience or submission of the subject or citizen as a duty in all cases to the existing government. -- Passive prayer, among mystic divines, a suspension of the activity of the soul or intellectual faculties, the soul remaining quiet, and yielding only to the impulses of grace. -- Passive verb, or Passive voice ( Gram. ), a verb, or form of a verb, which expresses the effect of the action of some agent; as, in Latin, doceor, I am taught; in English, she is loved; the picture is admired by all; he is assailed by slander.

      Syn. -- Inactive; inert; quiescent; unresisting; unopposing; suffering; enduring; submissive; patient.