To better see all uses of the word
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
please enable javascript.

Used In
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Show Multiple Meanings
Go to Book Vocabulary

unspecified meaning
  • I was charm’d with it, adopted it, dropt my abrupt contradiction and positive argumentation, and put on the humble inquirer and doubter.
  • For, if you would inform, a positive and dogmatical manner in advancing your sentiments may provoke contradiction and prevent a candid attention.

  • Show more
  • I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradiction to the sentiments of others, and all positive assertion of my own.
  • Our debates were to be under the direction of a president, and to be conducted in the sincere spirit of inquiry after truth, without fondness for dispute, or desire of victory; and, to prevent warmth, all expressions of positiveness in opinions, or direct contradiction, were after some time made contraband, and prohibited under small pecuniary penalties.
  • …some few years, but gradually left it, retaining only the habit of expressing myself in terms of modest diffidence; never using, when I advanced any thing that may possibly be disputed, the words certainly, undoubtedly, or any others that give the air of positiveness to an opinion; but rather say, I conceive or apprehend a thing to be so and so; it appears to me, or I should think it so or so, for such and such reasons; or I imagine it to be so; or it is so, if I am not mistaken.
  • …and persuade men into measures that I have been from time to time engag’d in promoting; and, as the chief ends of conversation are to inform or to be informed, to please or to persuade, I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen their power of doing good by a positive, assuming manner, that seldom fails to disgust, tends to create opposition, and to defeat every one of those purposes for which speech was given to us, to wit, giving or receiving information or pleasure.

  • There are no more uses of "positive" in the book.

To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: I'm absolutely positive! Define
certain (having no doubt)
as in: had a positive effect Define
good or beneficial
as in: positive feedback from my boss Define
approval or agreement
as in: a positive attitude Define
optimistic or agreeable
as in: The test came back positive. Define
found a condition or substance to be present
as in: a positive number Define
greater than zero (of a number)
Show Multiple Meanings
Go to Book Vocabulary . . . enhancing vocabulary while reading