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Definition accepting what happens without trying to take control or reacting strongly

More specialized and less common senses of the word are found in grammar, chemistry, physics, electronics, and communications. Consult a comprehensive dictionary if you wish to see those. All senses have to do with inactivity.
  • She plays a passive role in their relationship.
passive = accepting what happens without trying to take control
  • Watching television is too passive for me. I prefer more active hobbies.
  • passive = accepting what happens without trying to take control
  • Martin Luther King is famous for bringing about change through passive resistance.
  • Beside the water, not a hundred yards away, the Spirit Bear stood watching him with a fearless and passive stare.
    Ben Mikaeslen  --  Touching Spirit Bear
  • passive = not assertive (showing no tendency to take action)
  • Finally we spoke of Martin Luther King and his teaching of passive but unrelenting resistance.
    John Steinbeck  --  Travels with Charley
  • Doctor Quinn's use of the passive slowed ray blood.
    Sylvia Plath  --  The Bell Jar
  • Indifferent to notice, indifferent to compassion or contempt, those faces were yet not vacant or passive or resigned.
    V.S. Naipaul  --  A Bend in the River
  • The park bench where Nadine sat passively, blood drying on her skin, a knife at her throat.
    J.D. Robb  --  Glory in Death
  • I dare not come within reach of his arms, and he knows that so long as his resistance is passive I cannot shoot him.
    Jack London  --  Sea Wolf
  • He threw the bearskin over the sorrel, who stood passively by the roadside, hanging a meditative head.
    Edith Wharton  --  Ethan Frome
  • A Passive Fetter had been fitted around his neck, glowing dully, while its other end was fastened to one of the bed's sturdy wooden legs.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Second Siege
  • Women, if one may put it this way, are reactive creatures, with little original initiative, careless to the point of being passive.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • Patient is functioning on a passive-aggressive personality, passive-dependent type.
    Susanna Kaysen  --  Girl Interrupted
  • Passive receivers of information.
    Neal Stephenson  --  Snow Crash
  • I could feel his anger as his mouth discovered my passive resistance.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Eclipse
  • I saw nothing, just Kato being Kato—harmless and passive.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Blink
  • I had been down long enough to know that just waiting passively for the prison gods to give me a wonderful new bunkie was a losing strategy.
    Piper Kerman  --  Orange Is the New Black
  • But in a criminal court the wholly passive ideal of tolerance must give place to a sterner, loftier ideal, that of justice.
    Albert Camus  --  The Stranger
  • He wished the passive fetters would dull his mind or that the baka would creep back down to settle on his shoulders and begin its whispers anew.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Fiend And The Forge
  • Elsa had given me this book when I first got out of prison to show me, she said, that being passive and gentle could be revolutionary.
    Julia Alvarez  --  In the Time of the Butterflies

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