passive voice

Cultural Dictionary

passive voice definition


One of the two “voices” of verbs (see also active voice). A verb is in the passive voice when the subject of the sentence is acted on by the verb. For example, in “The ball was thrown by the pitcher,” the ball (the subject) receives the action of the verb, and was thrown is in the passive voice. The same sentence cast in the active voice would be, “The pitcher threw the ball.”

Note: It is usually preferable to use the active voice wherever possible, because it gives a sense of immediacy to the sentence.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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WordNet
passive voice

noun
the voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is the recipient (not the source) of the action denoted by the verb; "'The ball was thrown by the boy' uses the passive voice"; "'The ball was thrown' is an abbreviated passive" [ant: active
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
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