engaged in action; characterized by energetic work, participation, etc.; busy: an active life.
being in a state of existence, progress, or motion: active hostilities.
involving physical effort and action: active sports.
having the power of quick motion; nimble: active as a gazelle.
characterized by action, motion, volume, use, participation, etc.: an active market in wheat; an active list of subscribers.
causing activity or change; capable of exerting influence (opposed to passive ): active treason.
effective (opposed to inert ): active ingredients.
Grammar. noting or pertaining to a voice of verbal inflection in which typically the subject of the sentence is represented as performing the action expressed by the verb (opposed to passive ): Writes in He writes a letter every day is an active verb form.
requiring or giving rise to action; practical: an active course.
(of a volcano) in eruption.
Accounting. profitable; busy: active accounts.
requiring personal effort or attention; not automatic: an active alarm system.
interest-bearing: active paper.
Medicine/Medical. acting quickly; producing immediate effects: active remedies.
Sociology. (of a crowd) engaging in purposeful activity, often of a militant nature. Compare expressive ( def 4 ).
Aerospace. able to transmit signals: an active communications satellite.
Electronics. (of a device or system) acting as a source of electrical energy, as a generator, or capable of amplifying or converting voltages or currents, as a transistor or diode.
(of a solar heating system) accumulating and distributing solar heat by mechanical means.
Military. serving on active duty.
the active voice.
a form or construction in the active voice.
an active person, member, subscriber, etc.: The circular was mailed only to the actives on our list.
Informal. something showing considerable action or activity: On the stock market there was heavy trading in the actives.

1300–50; < Latin āctīvus (see act, -ive); replacing Middle English actif < Middle French < Latin

actively, adverb
activeness, noun
nonactive, adjective, noun
preactive, adjective
preactively, adverb
preactiveness, noun
quasi-active, adjective
quasi-actively, adverb
semiactive, adjective
semiactively, adverb
semiactiveness, noun
superactive, adjective
superactively, adverb
superactiveness, noun

1. acting; working; operative. 3. Active, energetic, strenuous, vigorous imply a liveliness and briskness in accomplishing something. Active suggests quickness and diligence as opposed to laziness or dilatory methods: an active and useful person. Energetic suggests forceful and intense, sometimes nervous, activity: conducting an energetic campaign. Strenuous implies arduous and zealous activity with a sense of urgency: a strenuous effort. Vigorous suggests strong, effective activity: using vigorous measures to accomplish an end. 4. agile, sprightly.

1. lazy. 5. sluggish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source Link To active
World English Dictionary
active (ˈæktɪv)
1.  in a state of action; moving, working, or doing something
2.  busy or involved: an active life
3.  physically energetic
4.  exerting influence; effective: an active ingredient
5.  grammar
 a.  Compare passive denoting a voice of verbs used to indicate that the subject of a sentence is performing the action or causing the event or process described by the verb, as kicked in The boy kicked the football
 b.  another word for nonstative
6.  being fully engaged in military service (esp in the phrase on active service)
7.  dormant Compare extinct (of a volcano) erupting periodically; not extinct
8.  astronomy Compare quiet (of the sun) exhibiting a large number of sunspots, solar flares, etc, and a marked variation in intensity and frequency of radio emission
9.  commerce
 a.  producing or being used to produce profit, esp in the form of interest: active balances
 b.  of or denoting stocks or shares that have been actively bought and sold as recorded in the Official List of the London Stock Exchange
10.  electronics
 a.  containing a source of power: an active network
 b.  capable of amplifying a signal or controlling some function: an active component; an active communication satellite
11.  grammar
 a.  the active voice
 b.  an active verb
12.  chiefly (US) a member of an organization who participates in its activities
[C14: from Latin āctīvus. See act, -ive]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

mid-14c., from L. activus, from actus (see act). Active voice is recorded from 1765 (grammatical use of active dates from 1520s). Related: Activate (v. 1620s).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
advanced controls technology for integrated vehicles
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
They were not involved in any type of active mentoring program.
The successful applicant will also be expected to pursue an active research
Researchers have used a sophisticated imaging technique to watch lava move
  though an active volcano.
But the researchers also found that amino acids stop the glucose action,
  keeping the cells active and the mice alert.
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