English translation unavailable for positive.


positive [adjective] (HOPEFUL)
US /ˈpɑː.zə.t̬ɪv/ 
UK /ˈpɒz.ə.tɪv/ 

a positive answer

full of hope and confidence, or giving cause for hope and confidence

Persian equivalent: 

a positive answer

Oxford Essential Dictionary



1 thinking or talking about the good parts of a situation:
It's important to stay positive.
The teacher was very positive about my work.
 opposite negative

2 completely certain same meaning sure:
Are you positive that you closed the door?

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English


I. positive1 S2 W2 AC /ˈpɒzətɪv, ˈpɒzɪtɪv $ ˈpɑː-/ BrE AmE adjective
[Word Family: noun: positive; adverb: positively; adjective: ↑positive]
[Date: 1300-1400; Language: Old French; Origin: positif, from Latin positivus, from positus; ⇨ position1]
1. ATTITUDE if you are positive about things, you are hopeful and confident, and think about what is good in a situation rather than what is bad OPP negative
positive about
You’ve got to be more positive about your work.
positive attitude/approach/outlook etc
She’s got a really positive attitude to life.
the power of positive thinking
‘Think positive!’ she advised herself.
2. GOOD THING good or useful OPP negative:
At least something positive has come out of the situation.
Write down all the positive things about your life.
The rural environment was having a positive effect on the children’s health.
It’s been a very positive experience for her.
TV can be a positive influence.
the positive contribution to the community made by many older people
It’s been a difficult time but, on the positive side, I feel physically fine.
Women should be portrayed in a more positive light.
3. ACTION if you take positive action, you do something definite in order to try to achieve something:
We need to take positive steps to improve the situation of families in poverty.
Positive action was required.
It’s a relief to know that something positive is being done.
4. SUPPORT expressing support, agreement, or approval OPP negative
positive response/reaction
The response we’ve had from the public has been very positive.
We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from the people of this city.
positive about
Most people have been very positive about the show.
5. SURE [not before noun] very sure, with no doubt at all that something is right or true SYN certain
positive (that)
Are you absolutely positive you locked the door?
‘Are you sure about that?’ ‘Positive.’
6. SIGN showing that something is likely to succeed or improve:
The fact that he’s breathing on his own again is a positive sign.
7. PROOF positive proof/evidence/identification etc proof etc that shows that there is no doubt that something is true:
The witness made a positive identification.
8. SCIENTIFIC TEST showing signs of the medical condition or chemical that is being looked for OPP negative:
The test results came back positive.
athletes who had tested positive for banned substances
children who are HIV positive
9. EMPHASIS [only before noun] spoken used to emphasize how good or bad something is SYN total:
The journey was a positive nightmare.
10. NUMBER technical a positive number is more than zero OPP negative
11. ELECTRICITY technical having the type of electrical charge that is carried by ↑protons OPP negative:
a positive charge
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)
■ nouns
a positive attitude/outlook Having a positive attitude makes life so much better.
a positive approach This is just the positive approach that the school needs.
a positive view He takes a fairly positive view of the future.
a positive thought Think positive thoughts.
positive thinking Many people believe that positive thinking can help your recovery from serious illnesses.
■ verbs
think positive (=think positive thoughts) Cheer up and think positive.
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
■ nouns
a positive thing That's not a very positive thing to say.
a positive aspect There are a lot of positive aspects to retirement.
a positive effect/impact Exercise has a positive effect on health.
a positive influence His mother was a strong positive influence.
a positive contribution Most refugees are determined to make a positive contribution to their new country.
a positive result/outcome We hope there will be a positive outcome to the talks.
a positive experience Working here has been a very positive experience for me.
a positive role model We should provide girls with more positive role models.
a positive image It's important to promote a positive image of our industry to young people.
■ phrases
see/present something in a positive light (=see or present something as good) If you spend a year travelling after school, employers often see this in a positive light. | The merger was presented to the world in a positive light.
on the positive side (=used when saying what is good about something) On the positive side, the company’s financial condition remains strong.
II. positive2 BrE AmE noun [countable]
[Word Family: noun: ↑positive; adverb: ↑positively; adjective: ↑positive]
a quality or feature that is good or useful OPP negative:
You can find positives in any situation.
Always emphasise the positive.
⇨ false positive

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary




posi·tive AW [positive positives] adjective, noun   [ˈpɒzətɪv]    [ˈpɑːzətɪv] 





1. thinking about what is good in a situation; feeling confident and sure that sth good will happen
a positive attitude/outlook
the power of positive thought
~ (about sth) She tried to be more positive about her new job.
On the positive side, profits have increased.
• The report ended on a positive note.

Opp:  negative  




2. directed at dealing with sth or producing a successful result
We must take positive steps to deal with the problem.
It will require positive action by all in the industry.

Opp:  negative

3. expressing agreement or support
• We've had a very positive response to the idea.

Opp:  negative

4. good or useful
to make a positive contribution to a discussion
His family have been a very positive influence on him.
• Overseas investment has had a positive effect on exports.

Opp:  negative  




5. not before noun (of a person) completely sure that sth is correct or true
~ (about sth) I can't be positive about what time it happened.
~ (that…) She was positive that he had been there.

• ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Positive.’

6. only before noun (informal) complete and definite
Syn:  absolute
• He has a positive genius for upsetting people.

• It was a positive miracle that we survived.

7. giving clear and definite proof or information
Syn:  conclusive
• We have no positive evidence that she was involved.

(formal) This is proof positive that he stole the money.  




8. showing clear evidence that a particular substance or medical condition is present
a positive pregnancy test
The athlete tested positive for steroids.
• to be HIV positive

Opp:  negative  




9. greater than zero

Opp:  negative  




10. (technical) containing or producing the type of electricity that is carried by a proton
a positive charge
the positive terminal of a battery
Opp:  negative  
Word Origin:
late Middle English: from Old French positif, -ive or Latin positivus, from posit- ‘placed’, from the verb ponere. The original sense referred to laws as being formally ‘laid down’, which led to the sense ‘explicitly laid down and admitting no question’, hence ‘certain’.  
positive adj.
She tried to be more positive about her new job.
optimistichopeful|especially business bullishupbeat
Opp: negative
positive/optimistic/hopeful/bullish/upbeat about sth
a/an positive/optimistic/hopeful/bullish view
a/an positive/optimistic/bullish/upbeat mood/note
We got very positive feedback on the idea.
goodapprovingappreciativecomplimentaryglowing|BrE favourable|AmE favorable
Opp: negative
positive/complimentary about sb/sth
a/an positive/good/approving/appreciative/complimentary/favourable comment
a positive/good/favourable opinion/impression/reaction/response
show sb/sth in a positive/good/favourable light
He made a positive contribution to the debate.
helpfulvaluablegoodconstructiveworthwhile|BrE favourable|AmE favorable|formal beneficial
Opp: negative
positive/helpful/valuable/good/constructive suggestions/advice
a positive/valuable/good/constructive/worthwhile/beneficial experience
a positive/good/constructive/beneficial effect
4. (especially spoken)
‘Are you sure?’ ‘Positive.’
positive/sure/certain/convinced/confident/clear about sth
positive/sure/certain/convinced/confident/clear/satisfied that…
feel positive/sure/certain/convinced/confident/satisfied
We have no positive evidence that he was involved.
concreteabsolutefirmharddefinitedefinitivefinalproven|formal categorical
positive/concrete/absolute/firm/hard/definite/definitive evidence
positive/concrete/absolute/firm/definite/definitive/final proof  
confident convinced certain positive clear
These words all describe sb who knows without doubt that sth is true or will happen.
sure[not before noun] without any doubt that you are right, that sth is true, that you will get sth or that sth will happen: ‘Is that John over there?’ ‘I'm not sure.’ Are you sure about that? England must win this game to be sure of qualifying.
Sure is often used in negative statements and questions, because there is some doubt or anxiety over the matter. If there is no doubt, people often say quite sure: I'm quite sure (that) I left my bag here (= I have no doubt about it) .
confidentcompletely sure that sth will happen in the way that you want or expect: I'm quite confident that you'll get the job. The team feels confident of winning.
Confident is a stronger and more definite word than sure and is more often used in positive statements, when you feel no anxiety.
convinced[not before noun] completely sure that sth is true or right, especially because the evidence seems to prove it or sb else has persuaded you to believe it: I'm convinced that she's innocent.
certain[not usually before noun] sure that you are right or that sth is true: Are you absolutely certain about this?
sure or certain?
Like sure, certain is often used in negative statements and questions. It is slightly more formal than sure; sure is more frequent, especially in spoken English.
positive[not before noun] (rather informal) completely sure that sth is true: She was positive that he'd been there. ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Positive.’
clear(often used in negative statements and questions) having no doubt or confusion about sth: My memory isn't really clear on that point.
sure/confident/convinced/certain/positive/clear about sth
sure/confident/convinced/certain of sth
sure/confident/convinced/certain/positive/clear that…
sure/certain/clear who/what/how, etc.
to feel sure/confident/convinced/certain/positive
quite/absolutely/completely/fairly/pretty sure/confident/convinced/certain/positive/clear
not altogether sure/confident/convinced/certain/clear 
Example Bank:
He sounded very positive about his chances.
He tested positive for HIV.
He took a highly positive view of the matter.
I'm absolutely positive it was him.
She seemed fairly positive about it.
The test proved positive.
Friendlier relations between the countries had a positive effect on exports.
I can't be positive about what time it happened.
Local residents made a very positive contribution to the debate.
Most of his remarks were positive, but there were a few criticisms.
On the positive side, profits have increased.
She was positive that he'd been there.
The feedback from the public was very positive.
Try to have a positive attitude.
• We got a very positive response to the idea.

• You should try to be a bit more positive about your students.




1. countable, uncountable a good or useful quality or aspect
• Take your weaknesses and translate them into positives.

• To manage your way out of recession, accentuate the positive.  





2. countable (technical) a developed film showing light and dark areas and colours as they actually were, especially one printed from a negative  


3. countable the result of a test or an experiment that shows that a substance or condition is present
Opp:  negative  
Word Origin:

late Middle English: from Old French positif, -ive or Latin positivus, from posit- ‘placed’, from the verb ponere. The original sense referred to laws as being formally ‘laid down’, which led to the sense ‘explicitly laid down and admitting no question’, hence ‘certain’.


Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition

positive / ˈpɒz.ə.tɪv /   / ˈpɑː.zə.t̬ɪv / adjective (HOPEFUL)

B1 full of hope and confidence, or giving cause for hope and confidence:

a positive attitude

On a more positive note, we're seeing signs that the housing market is picking up.

The past ten years have seen some very positive developments in East-West relations.

There was a very positive response to our new design - people seemed very pleased with it.

→  Opposite negative adjective (WITHOUT HOPE)


positiveness / -nəs / noun [ U ]


positive / ˈpɒz.ə.tɪv /   / ˈpɑː.zə.t̬ɪv / adjective (CERTAIN)

B2 certain and without any doubt:

[ + (that) ] Are you positive (that) you saw me switch the iron off?

"Are you sure it's okay for me to use your mother's car?" "Positive."

"It was him - I saw him take it." "Are you positive about that?"


positive / ˈpɒz.ə.tɪv /   / ˈpɑː.zə.t̬ɪv / adjective (TEST RESULTS)

C2 (of a medical test) showing that a person has the disease or condition for which they are being tested:

a positive pregnancy test

He's HIV positive.

She tested positive for hepatitis.

→  Opposite negative adjective (TEST RESULTS)


positive / ˈpɒz.ə.tɪv /   / ˈpɑː.zə.t̬ɪv / adjective [ before noun ] (COMPLETE)

(used to add force to an expression) complete:

Far from being a nuisance, she was a positive joy to have around.


positive / ˈpɒz.ə.tɪv /   / ˈpɑː.zə.t̬ɪv / adjective (ABOVE ZERO)

(of a number or amount) more than zero:

Two is a positive number.

→  Opposite negative adjective (BELOW ZERO)

positive / ˈpɒz.ə.tɪv /   / ˈpɑː.zə.t̬ɪv / adjective (ELECTRICITY)

being the type of electrical charge that is carried by protons

→  Opposite negative adjective (ELECTRICITY)


positive / ˈpɒz.ə.tɪv /   / ˈpɑː.zə.t̬ɪv / adjective (BLOOD TYPE)

having the rhesus factor in the blood:

My blood type is O positive.

© Cambridge University Press 2013

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary


 1) ADJ-GRADED: usu v-link ADJ, oft ADJ about n If you are positive about things, you are hopeful and confident, and think of the good aspects of a situation rather than the bad ones.
  Be positive about your future and get on with living a normal life...
  Her husband became much more positive and was soon back in full-time employment.
  ...a positive frame of mind.
  Derived words:
  positively ADV-GRADED ADV after v You really must try to start thinking positively.
 2) ADJ-GRADED: usu ADJ n A positive fact, situation, or experience is pleasant and helpful to you in some way.
  The parting from his sister had a positive effect on John...
  Working abroad should be an exciting and positive experience for all concerned.
 N-SING: the N
 The positive in a situation is the good and pleasant aspects of it. Work on the positive, creating beautiful, loving and fulfilling relationships.
 3) ADJ-GRADED: usu ADJ n If you make a positive decision or take positive action, you do something definite in order to deal with a task or problem.
  There are positive changes that should be implemented in the rearing of animals...
  He was expected to make a very positive contribution to the 1996 Games organisation...
  Having a good diet gives me a sense that I'm doing something positive and that I'm in control.
 4) ADJ-GRADED: usu ADJ n A positive response to something indicates agreement, approval, or encouragement.
  There's been a positive response to the UN Secretary-General's recent peace efforts.
  Derived words:
  positively ADV ADV after v He responded positively and accepted the fee of ₤1000 I had offered.
 5) ADJ-GRADED: v-link ADJ If you are positive about something, you are completely sure about it.
  I'm as positive as I can be about it...
  `She's never late. You sure she said eight?' - `Positive.'
 6) ADJ: ADJ n Positive evidence gives definite proof of the truth or identity of something.
  There was no positive evidence that any birth defects had arisen as a result of Vitamin A intake.
  Derived words:
  positively ADV ADV with v He has positively identified the body as that of his wife.
 7) ADJ If a medical or scientific test is positive, it shows that something has happened or is present.
 HIV positivesee HIV
  If the test is positive, a course of antibiotics may be prescribed...
  He was stripped of his Olympic Hundred Metres gold medal after testing positive for steroids.
 8) ADJ: ADJ n (emphasis) You can use positive to emphasize a noun. [OLD-FASHIONED]
 → See also positively
  Good day to you, Bernard! It's a positive delight to see you...
  He was in a positive fury...
  The man was being a positive embarrassment.
 9) ADJ: ADJ n A positive number is greater than zero.
  It's really a simple numbers game with negative and positive numbers.
 10) ADJ: usu ADJ n If something has a positive electrical charge, it has the same charge as a proton and the opposite charge to an electron. [TECHNICAL]
  Derived words:
  positively ADV ADV adj The atom was pictured as a small positively charged core or nucleus.
 11) proof positivesee proof

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary: 


1pos·i·tive /ˈpɑːzətɪv/ adj
1 [more ~; most ~] : good or useful
• Did you have a positive [=pleasant] experience working with that company?
• The book had a positive influence on me.
• He has been a positive role model for his brother.
• Nothing positive came out of that experience.
• What are some of the positive things about your job?
• The low unemployment rate is a positive sign for the economy.
• The company took positive steps to create a safer workplace.
- opposite negative
2 [more ~; most ~] : thinking about the good qualities of someone or something : thinking that a good result will happen : hopeful or optimistic
• You've got to have a positive attitude/outlook to do well in life.
• You should try to be more positive about the whole situation.
On the positive side, you will be making more money.
• To end on a positive note, we are seeing an increase in sales this month.
- opposite negative
3 not used before a noun : completely certain or sure that something is correct or true
• We were positive that we would win the game.
• “That is the street we need to take.” “Are you sure?” “(I'm) Positive.”
• I'm not (absolutely) positive, but I think they won the World Series in 1954.
4 [more ~; most ~] : showing or expressing support, approval, or agreement
• Most of the response from the public has been positive [=favorable] so far.
• The reviews were mostly positive.
positive feedback
• The new Web site has received a positive response from its visitors.
- opposite negative
5 : unable to be doubted : certainly true
• There is no positive [=definite, conclusive] proof that life exists on other planets.
• The police have not yet made a positive identification of the victim.
• The fact that the DNA samples did not match is proof positive that he is not the father.
6 : showing the presence of a particular germ, condition, or substance
• He tested positive for steroids. [=the test showed that he had used steroids]
• The test results were positive.
• HIV positive patients
- opposite negative
7 a mathematics : greater than zero
• a positive integer
- opposite negative
b : more than the amount of money spent or invested
• We got a positive return on our investment. [=we made a profit on our investment]
- opposite negative
8 technical
a : containing or producing electricity that is charged by a proton
• a positive charge/current
- opposite negative
b : having more protons than electrons
• a positive ion/particle
- opposite negative
9 always used before a noun informal : absolute or complete - used to make a statement more forceful
• The way poor people are treated in this country is a positive disgrace.

Positive Thinking

  1. Is positive thinking a strong belief in your life?
  2. What is the philosophy of positive thinking? How does positive thinking work?
  3. How can positive thinking help you in your personal life?
  4. Do you know anyone who practices positive thinking seriously? Do you find it encouraging or irritating?
  5. How can the power of positive thinking change your approach to problem solving?
  6. How can you apply positive thinking in practice?
  7. How can we say positive thinking from false hope and  self deception?
Subscribe to RSS - positive