explicitly stated, stipulated, or expressed: a positive acceptance of the agreement.
admitting of no question: positive proof.
stated; express; emphatic: a positive denial.
confident in opinion or assertion; fully assured: He is positive that he will win the contest.
overconfident or dogmatic: The less he knows, the more positive he gets.
without relation to or comparison with other things; not relative or comparative; absolute.
Informal. downright; out-and-out: She's a positive genius.
determined by enactment or convention; arbitrarily laid down: positive law.
emphasizing what is laudable, hopeful, or to the good; constructive: a positive attitude toward the future; positive things to say about a painting.
not speculative or theoretical; practical: a positive approach to the problem.
possessing an actual force, being, existence, etc.
constructive and sure, rather than skeptical.
concerned with or based on matters of experience: positive philosophy.
showing or expressing approval or agreement; favorable: a positive reaction to the speech.
consisting in or characterized by the presence or possession of distinguishing or marked qualities or features (opposed to negative ): Light is positive, darkness negative.
noting the presence of such qualities, as a term.
measured or proceeding in a direction assumed as beneficial, progressive, or auspicious: a positive upturn in the stock market.
of, pertaining to, or characterized by positive electricity.
indicating a point in a circuit that has a higher potential than that of another point, the current flowing from the point of higher potential to the point of lower potential.
of, pertaining to, or noting the north pole of a magnet.
Chemistry. (of an element or group) tending to lose electrons and become positively charged; basic.
Grammar. being, noting, or pertaining to the initial degree of the comparison of adjectives and adverbs, as the positive form good. Compare comparative ( def 4 ), superlative ( def 2 ).
(of blood, affected tissue, etc.) showing the presence of disease.
(of a diagnostic test) indicating disease.
Biochemistry, Rh factor.
Mathematics. noting a quantity greater than zero.
(of government) assuming control or regulation of activities beyond those involved merely with the maintenance of law and order.
Biology. oriented or moving toward the focus of excitation: a positive tropism.
Photography. denoting a print or transparency showing the brightness values as they are in the subject.
Machinery. noting or pertaining to a process or machine part having a fixed or certain operation, especially as the result of elimination of play, free motion, etc.: positive lubrication.
something positive.
a positive quality or characteristic.
a positive quantity or symbol.
the positive degree.
a form in the positive, as good or smooth.
Photography. a positive image, as on a print or transparency.

1250–1300; < Latin positīvus; replacing Middle English positif < Middle French < Latin, as above. See posit, -ive

positiveness, noun
overpositive, adjective
overpositively, adverb
overpositiveness, noun
quasi-positive, adjective
quasi-positively, adverb
superpositive, adjective
superpositively, adverb
superpositiveness, noun
unpositive, adjective
unpositively, adverb
unpositiveness, noun

1. definite, unequivocal, categorical, clear, precise, sure. 2. incontrovertible, indisputable. 4. unquestioning. 4, 5. See sure.

1. indefinite. 2. doubtful. 4. unsure, unconfident, uncertain.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
positive (ˈpɒzɪtɪv)
1.  characterized by or expressing certainty or affirmation: a positive answer
2.  composed of or possessing actual or specific qualities; real: a positive benefit
3.  tending to emphasize what is good or laudable; constructive: he takes a very positive attitude when correcting pupils' mistakes
4.  tending towards progress or improvement; moving in a beneficial direction
5.  philosophy
 a.  constructive rather than sceptical
 b.  (of a concept) denoting the presence rather than the absence of some property
6.  independent of circumstances; absolute or unqualified
7.  informal (prenominal) (intensifier): a positive delight
8.  maths
 a.  having a value greater than zero: a positive number
 b.  designating, consisting of, or graduated in one or more quantities greater than zero: positive direction
9.  maths
 a.  measured in a direction opposite to that regarded as negative
 b.  having the same magnitude as but opposite sense to an equivalent negative quantity
10.  grammar denoting the usual form of an adjective as opposed to its comparative or superlative form
11.  biology indicating movement or growth towards a particular stimulus
12.  physics
 a.  (of an electric charge) having an opposite polarity to the charge of an electron and the same polarity as the charge of a proton
 b.  (of a body, system, ion, etc) having a positive electric charge; having a deficiency of electrons: a positive ion
 c.  (of a point in an electric circuit) having a higher electric potential than some other point with an assigned zero potential
13.  short for electropositive
14.  (of a lens) capable of causing convergence of a parallel beam of light
15.  med (of the results of an examination or test) indicating the existence or presence of a suspected disorder or pathogenic organism
16.  med (of the effect of a drug or therapeutic regimen) beneficial or satisfactory
17.  short for Rh positive
18.  (of a machine part) having precise motion with no hysteresis or backlash
19.  chiefly (US) (of a government) directly involved in activities beyond the minimum maintenance of law and order, such as social welfare or the organization of scientific research
20.  economics of or denoting an analysis that is free of ethical, political, or value judgments
21.  astrology of, relating to, or governed by the group of signs of the zodiac that belong to the air and fire classifications, which are associated with a self-expressive spontaneous nature
22.  something that is positive
23.  maths a quantity greater than zero
24.  photog a print or slide showing a photographic image whose colours or tones correspond to those of the original subject
25.  grammar the positive degree of an adjective or adverb
26.  a positive object, such as a terminal or plate in a voltaic cell
27.  music
 a.  Compare portative organ Also called: positive organ a medieval nonportable organ with one manual and no pedals
 b.  a variant spelling of positif
[C13: from Late Latin positīvus positive, agreed on an arbitrary basis, from pōnere to place]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, a legal term meaning "formally laid down," from O.Fr. positif (13c.), from L. positivus "settled by arbitrary agreement, positive" (opposed to naturalis "natural"), from positus, pp. of ponere "put, place" (see position). Sense broadened to "expressed without qualification"
(1598), then "confident in opinion" (1665); mathematical use is from 1704; in electricity, 1755. Psychological sense of "concentrating on what is constructive and good" is recorded from 1916. Positivism (1847) is the philosophy of Auguste Comte, who published "Philosophie positive" in 1830.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

positive pos·i·tive (pŏz'ĭ-tĭv)

  1. Characterized by or displaying certainty, acceptance, or affirmation.

  2. Indicating the presence of a particular disease, condition, or organism.

  3. Indicating or characterized by response or motion toward the source of a stimulus, such as light.

  4. Relating to or designating electric charge of a sign opposite to that of an electron.

pos'i·tive·ness or pos'i·tiv'i·ty n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
positive   (pŏz'ĭ-tĭv)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. Greater than zero.

  2. Having an electric charge or voltage greater than zero.

  3. Indicating the presence of a disease, condition, or organism, as a diagnostic test.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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