passive vocabulary

World English Dictionary
passive vocabulary
 
n
Compare active vocabulary all the words, collectively, that a person can understand

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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  passive vocabulary
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  the lexemes known by a person, but not used
Example:  Our passive vocabulary is usually a third larger than our active vocabulary; we understand far more words than we routinely use.
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