- expressing or containing negation or denial: a negative response to the question.
- refusing consent, as to a proposal: a negative reply to my request.
- expressing refusal to do something: He maintained a negative attitude about cooperating.
- prohibitory, as a command or order.
- characterized by the absence of distinguishing or marked qualities or features; lacking positive attributes (opposed to positive): a dull, lifeless, negative character.
- lacking in constructiveness, helpfulness, optimism, cooperativeness, or the like: a man of negative viewpoint.
- encouraging or noting an unhealthy or unbalanced outlook toward something, especially toward sex or sexuality (used in combination):The song has a body-negative message.
- being without rewards, results, or effectiveness: a search of the premises proved negative.
- Mathematics, Physics.
- involving or noting subtraction; minus.
- measured or proceeding in the direction opposite to that which is considered as positive.
- Photography. noting an image in which the brightness values of the subject are reproduced so that the lightest areas are shown as the darkest.
- of, relating to, or characterized by negative electricity.
- indicating a point in a circuit that has a lower potential than that of another point, the current flowing from the point of higher potential to the point of lower potential.
- (of blood, affected tissue, etc.) failing to indicate the presence of a specified medical condition or substance.
- (of a diagnostic test) failing to indicate the presence of the medical condition or substance tested for:Test results for skin cancer were negative.
- (of a person) not having a specified medical condition, or not having a specified substance in the body (often used in combination):She tested negative for a staph infection.I’m Rh-negative.
- Chemistry. (of an element or group) tending to gain electrons and become negatively charged; acid.
- Physiology. responding in a direction away from the stimulus.
- of, relating to, or noting the south pole of a magnet.
- Logic. (of a proposition) denying the truth of the predicate with regard to the subject.
- a negative statement, answer, word, gesture, etc.: The ship signaled back a negative.
- a refusal of assent: to answer a request with a negative.
- the negative form of statement.
- a person or number of persons arguing against a resolution, statement, etc., especially a team upholding the negative side in a formal debate.
- a negative quality or characteristic.
- disadvantage; drawback: The plan is generally brilliant, but it has one or two negatives.
- a minus sign.
- a negative quantity or symbol.
- Photography. a negative image, as on a film, used chiefly for making positives.
- Electricity. the negative plate or element in a voltaic cell.
- Archaic. a veto, or right of veto: The delegation may exercise its negative.
- (used to indicate a negative response): “You won’t come with us?” “Negative.”
verb (used with object), neg·a·tived, neg·a·tiv·ing.
- to deny; contradict.
- to refute or disprove (something).
- to refuse assent or consent to; veto.
- to neutralize or counteract.
- (used to indicate disagreement, denial of permission, etc.): Negative, pilot—complete your mission as directed.
- in the negative, in the form of a negative response, as a refusal, denial, or disagreement; no: The reply, when it finally came, was in the negative.
- expressing or meaning a refusal or deniala negative answer
- lacking positive or affirmative qualities, such as enthusiasm, interest, or optimism
- showing or tending towards opposition or resistance
- measured in a direction opposite to that regarded as positive
- having the same magnitude but opposite sense to an equivalent positive quantity
- biology indicating movement or growth away from a particular stimulusnegative geotropism
- med (of the results of a diagnostic test) indicating absence of the disease or condition for which the test was made
- another word for minus (def. 3b), minus (def. 5)
- (of an electric charge) having the same polarity as the charge of an electron
- (of a body, system, ion, etc) having a negative electric charge; having an excess of electrons
- (of a point in an electric circuit) having a lower electrical potential than some other point with an assigned zero potential
- short for electronegative
- of or relating to a photographic negative
- logic (of a categorial proposition) denying the satisfaction by the subject of the predicate, as in some men are irrational; no pigs have wings
- astrology of, relating to, or governed by the signs of the zodiac of the earth and water classifications, which are thought to be associated with a receptive passive nature
- short for Rh negative
- a statement or act of denial, refusal, or negation
- a negative person or thing
- photog a piece of photographic film or a plate, previously exposed and developed, showing an image that, in black-and-white photography, has a reversal of tones. In colour photography the image is in complementary colours to the subject so that blue sky appears yellow, green grass appears purple, etc
- physics a negative object, such as a terminal or a plate in a voltaic cell
- a sentence or other linguistic element with a negative meaning, as the English word not
- a quantity less than zero or a quantity to be subtracted
- logic a negative proposition
- archaic the right of veto
- in the negative indicating denial or refusal
- (esp in military communications) a signal code word for no 1
- to deny or nullify; negate
- to show to be false; disprove
- to refuse to consent to or approve ofthe proposal was negatived
adj.c.1400, “expressing denial,” from Old French negatif (13c.) and directly from Latin negativus “that which denies,” from negat-, past participle stem of negare “deny, say no” (see deny). Meaning “expressing negation” is from c.1500; that of “characterized by absence” is from 1560s. Algebraic sense is from 1670s. The electricity sense is from 1755. Negative Capability, that is when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts without any irritable reaching after fact and reason. [John Keats, letter, Dec. 21, 1817] Related: Negatively. n.late 14c., “a prohibition; absence, nonexistence; opposite,” from Old French negatif and directly from Latin negativus (see negative (adj.)). Meaning “a negative statement” is from 1560s. As a response, “I refuse, disagree, no,” from 1945. Meaning “a negative quality” is from 1640s. In mathematics, “a negative number,” from 1706. Photographic sense first recorded 1853. adj.
- Expressing, containing, or consisting of a negation, refusal, or denial.
- Marked by failure of response or absence of a reaction.
- Not indicating the presence of microorganisms, disease, or a specific condition.
- Moving or turning away from a stimulus, such as light.
- Relating to or designating an electric charge of the same sign as that of an electron.
- Less than zero.
- Having the electric charge or voltage less than zero.
- Devoid of evidence of a suspected condition or disease, as a diagnostic test.