Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Expressing, containing, or consisting of a negation, refusal, or denial: gave a negative answer to our request.
  • adj. Indicating opposition or resistance: a negative reaction to the new advertising campaign.
  • adj. Lacking positive or constructive features, especially:
  • adj. Unpleasant; disagreeable: had a negative experience on his first job.
  • adj. Gloomy; pessimistic: a negative outlook.
  • adj. Unfavorable or detrimental: a negative review; a negative effect on the child's development.
  • adj. Hostile or disparaging; malicious: ran a negative campaign against her opponent.
  • adj. Medicine Not indicating the presence of a particular disease, condition, or organism.
  • adj. Logic Designating a proposition that denies agreement between a subject and its predicate.
  • adj. Mathematics Of or relating to a quantity less than zero.
  • adj. Mathematics Of or relating to the sign (-).
  • adj. Mathematics Of or relating to a quantity to be subtracted from another.
  • adj. Mathematics Of or relating to a quantity, number, angle, velocity, or direction in a sense opposite to another of the same magnitude indicated or understood to be positive.
  • adj. Physics Of or relating to an electric charge of the same sign as that of an electron, indicated by the symbol (-).
  • adj. Physics Of or relating to a body having an excess of electrons.
  • adj. Chemistry Of or relating to an ion, the anion, that is attracted to a positive electrode.
  • adj. Biology Moving or turning away from a stimulus, such as light: a negative tropism.
  • n. A statement or act indicating or expressing a contradiction, denial, or refusal.
  • n. A statement or act that is highly critical of another or of others: campaign advertising that was based solely on negatives.
  • n. Something that lacks all positive, affirmative, or encouraging features; an element that is the counterpoint of the positive: "Life is full of overwhelming odds. You can't really eliminate the negatives but you can diminish them” ( Art Linkletter).
  • n. A feature or characteristic that is not deemed positive, affirmative, or desirable: "As voters get to know his liberal views, his negatives will rise” ( Richard M. Nixon).
  • n. Grammar A word or part of a word, such as no, not, or non-, that indicates negation. See Usage Note at double negative.
  • n. The side in a debate that contradicts or opposes the question being debated.
  • n. An image in which the light areas of the object rendered appear dark and the dark areas appear light.
  • n. A film, plate, or other photographic material containing such an image.
  • n. Mathematics A negative quantity.
  • transitive v. To refuse to approve; veto.
  • transitive v. To deny; contradict.
  • transitive v. To demonstrate to be false; disprove.
  • transitive v. To counteract or neutralize.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. not positive or neutral
  • adj. of number, less than zero
  • adj. (logic) denying a proposition
  • adj. damaging; undesirable; unfavourable
  • adj. pessimistic; not tending to see the bright side of things. (Often used pejoratively.)
  • adj. (pejorative) bad, unwanted, disagreeable, potentially damaging, to be avoided, unpleasant, difficult, painful; (often precedes 'energy', 'feeling', 'emotion' or 'thought').
  • n. a right of veto
  • n. a word that indicates negation
  • n. a negative quantity
  • n. : 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.
  • v. To veto
  • v. To contradict
  • v. To disprove

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Denying; implying, containing, or asserting denial, negation or refusal; returning the answer no to an inquiry or request; refusing assent; ; -- opposed to affirmative.
  • adj. Not positive; without affirmative statement or demonstration; indirect; consisting in the absence of something; privative
  • adj. Asserting absence of connection between a subject and a predicate.
  • adj. 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.
  • adj. Metalloidal; nonmetallic; -- contrasted with positive or basic.
  • n. an eyepiece consisting of two plano-convex lenses with their curved surfaces turned toward the object glass, and separated from each other by about half the sum of their focal distances, the image viewed by the eye being formed between the two lenses. it was devised by Huyghens, who applied it to the telescope. Campani applied it to the microscope, whence it is sometimes called Campani's eyepiece.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A word used in denial or refusal.
  • n. The refusal or withholding of assents; veto.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. The negative plate of a voltaic or electrolytic cell.
  • transitive v. To prove unreal or untrue; to disprove.
  • transitive v. To reject by vote; to refuse to enact or sanction.
  • transitive v. To neutralize the force of; to counteract.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Expressing or containing denial or negation: opposed to affirmative: as, a negative proposition.
  • Expressing or containing refusal; containing or implying the answer “No” to a request: as, a negative answer.
  • Characterized by the omission or absence of that which is affirmative or positive: as, a negative attitude; negative goodness.
  • Having the power of stopping or restraining by refusing assent or concurrence; imposing a veto.
  • In photography, showing the lights and shades in nature exactly reversed: as, a negative picture; a negative plate. See II., 5.
  • Measured or reckoned in the opposite direction to that which is considered as positive; neutralizing the positive: as, a debt is negative property.
  • Electricity developed by friction on resinous substances, as by rubbing sealing-wax with silk or flannel; resinous electricity.
  • n. A proposition expressing a negation; a negative proposition.
  • n. A term or word which expresses negation or denial.
  • n. The right or power of refusing assent; a veto; also, the power of preventing.
  • n. That side of a question which denies what the opposite side affirms; also, a decision or an answer expressive of negation: as, the question was determined in the negative.
  • n. 5. In photography, a photographic image on glass or other suitable medium, in which the lights and shades are the opposite of those in nature.
  • n. Electricity like that developed by friction on resinous substances. See electricity.
  • n. In electricity, the negative plate of a voltaic element; the metal or equivalent placed in opposition to the positive in the voltaic battery.
  • To deny, as a statement or proposition; affirm the contradictory of; contradict; negate.
  • To disprove; prove the contrary of.
  • To refuse assent to; refuse to enact or sanction; veto.
  • In grammar, to modify by a negative particle: alter by the substitution of a negative for a positive word.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. less than zero
  • adj. having a negative charge
  • v. vote against; refuse to endorse; refuse to assent
  • adj. having the quality of something harmful or unpleasant
  • adj. reckoned in a direction opposite to that regarded as positive
  • adj. designed or tending to discredit, especially without positive or helpful suggestions
  • n. a reply of denial
  • adj. characterized by or displaying negation or denial or opposition or resistance; having no positive features
  • n. a piece of photographic film showing an image with light and shade or colors reversed
  • adj. expressing or consisting of a negation or refusal or denial
  • adj. not indicating the presence of microorganisms or disease or a specific condition
  • adj. involving disadvantage or harm

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French negatif, from Latin negātīvus, from negātus, past participle of negāre, to deny; see negate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin negativus ("that denies, negative"), from negare ("to deny"); see negate. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Do not put sentences in the negative form.

    January 25, 2007