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positive

used in a sentence
6 meanings
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1  —as in:
I'm absolutely positive!
Definition certain (having no doubt; or used for emphasis)
  • I'm positive I've seen her before.
positive = certain
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • I'm positive our team will win on Friday.
  • positive = certain
  • She positively glowed as she told me about the hot meals and the hot showers and all the friends she'd made.
    Jeannette Walls  --  The Glass Castle
  • positively = absolutely (used for emphasis)
  • You are positive that he took full advantage of you?
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • positive = certain
  • I looked positively plain.
    Kiera Cass  --  The Selection
  • positively = absolutely (used for emphasis)
  • "You sure you're not up for the Halloween Parade?"
      "Positive."
    R.J. Palacio  --  Wonder
  • positive = certain
  • But I began to put on weight, and I was positively chubby by the time I started the fifth grade.
    J.D. Vance  --  Hillbilly Elegy
  • positively = absolutely (used for emphasis)
  • "And besides," I told her, "I overheard something—Professor Nemur and Dr. Strauss were arguing, and Nemur said he's positive that nothing can go wrong."
    Daniel Keyes  --  Flowers for Algernon — Novel
  • positive = certain
  • But when she told them she wasn't exactly sure whether Luke had been born in May or June, that set the voices positively buzzing.
    Tara Westover  --  Educated
  • positively = absolutely (used for emphasis)
  • "I'm absolutely positive," he assured Gallien, "I won't run into anything I can't deal with on my own."
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
positive = certain

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
2  —as in:
had a positive effect
Definition good or beneficial
  • Lower interest rates positively affected home sales.
positively = in a good or beneficial manner
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • Lower gasoline prices have positively affected movie ticket sales.
  • positively = in a good way
  • We don't have a solution yet, but our recent experiment was a positive step in the right direction.
  • positive = good or beneficial
  • Wage growth had a positive impact on the stock market.
  • positive = good or beneficial
  • I'm making a list of the positives and negatives of switching jobs
  • positives = good things or characteristics
  • The only positive news Goldie has to offer is her own.
    Heather Morris  --  The Tattooist of Auschwitz
  • positive = good
  • The characters suffer in the beginning and the middle, but not the end. There's positive resolution.
    Stephanie Perkins  --  Anna and the French Kiss
  • positive = good or beneficial
  • A change in personal circumstances, even a positive one, can trigger anxiety.
    John Green  --  Turtles All the Way Down
  • positive = good or beneficial
  • Reams of social science attest to the positive effect of a loving and stable home.
    J.D. Vance  --  Hillbilly Elegy
  • positive = good or beneficial
  • "Personally I see nothing positive at all about Chris McCandless's lifestyle or wilderness doctrine," scolded another correspondent.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
positive = good or beneficial

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
3  —as in:
positive feedback from my boss
Definition approval or agreement
  • Responses to my plan were positive.
positive = indicating agreement or approval
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • We're getting a lot of positive feedback about the proposed changes.
  • positive = indicating approval or agreement
  • To ensure that his message got through, he decided to speak positively about his captors.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • positively = in an approving manner (saying good things)
  • "You liked it?" I said, getting my second taste—and how sweet it was—of a positive review.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  The Kite Runner
  • positive = indicating approval
  • But still not everyone in Pakistan was so positive. Though my father had tried to keep it from me, I knew some people were saying he had shot me, or that I wasn't shot at all and we had staged it so we could live overseas.
    Malala Yousafzai  --  I Am Malala
  • positive = indicating approval
  • Women have always had it hard in this country, Laila, but they're probably more free now, under the communists, and have more rights than they've ever had before, Babi said, always lowering his voice, aware of how intolerant Mammy was of even remotely positive talk of the communists.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • positive = indicating approval or agreement
  • He had never knowingly given her pain, but he now felt that she required more positive kindness; and with that view endeavoured, in the first place, to lessen her fears of them all, and gave her especially a great deal of good advice as to playing with Maria and Julia, and being as merry as possible.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • positive = indicating approval
  • But some of the reaction in Pakistan was not so positive.
    Malala Yousafzai  --  I Am Malala
  • positive = indicating approval
  • The media in Swat were under pressure to give positive coverage to the Taliban—some even respectfully called the Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan School Dada, when in reality he was destroying schools.
    Malala Yousafzai  --  I Am Malala
  • positive = indicating approval or agreement
  • I always tried to be positive with her, although I'd learned that even compliments were a kind of insult to Lou Ann, causing her to wrinkle her face and advise me to make an appointment with an eye doctor.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Bean Trees
positive = indicating approval or agreement

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
4  —as in:
a positive attitude
Definition optimistic (expecting or focusing good things); or agreeable
  • With a positive attitude and some effort, I'm sure we can make this work.
positive = optimistic
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • I appreciation your positive attitude.
  • positive = optimistic or agreeable
  • I watched Dr. Wolff use semantics to phrase whatever he could in a positive light. When we asked, "How long before I die?" he answered, "You probably have three to six months of good health."
    Randy Pausch  --  The Last Lecture
  • positive = optimistic (focusing on good things)
  • It also went to show the value of statesmanship and diplomacy as well as positive thinking and plain old hard-headed business sense.
    Margaret Atwood  --  The Blind Assassin
  • positive = optimistic
  • I needed to turn this around, make it positive.
    Kiera Cass  --  The Selection
  • positive = optimistic (focusing on good things)
  • Cheer up! Look on the bright side! You've got to think positive!
    Margaret Atwood  --  Oryx and Crake
  • positive = optimistically
  • But the positive thoughts would give way to negative thoughts, and the negative thoughts seemed to swoop into her mind the way a big flock of black crows takes over the landscape, sitting thick in the trees and on the fence rails and lawns, staring at you in ominous silence.
    Jeannette Walls  --  The Glass Castle
  • positive = optimistic (focusing on good things)
  • I try to stay positive about it, but it's hard seeing the interactions and relationships the other students have at school that I'm not a part of.
    Colleen Hoover  --  Hopeless
  • positive = optimistic (or feeling good)
  • But it was also an extremely positive letter, full of hope and encouraging all of us to do some small part for others.
    Chris Kyle  --  American Sniper
  • positive = optimistic
  • He's just this phenomenal ball of positive energy; completely physical and gregarious.
    Randy Pausch  --  The Last Lecture
positive = optimistic (focusing on good things)

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
5  —as in:
The test came back positive.
Definition found a condition or substance to be present
  • The pregnancy test was positive.
positive = it found the condition present
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • The test for bacterial infection came back positive.
  • positive = it found the condition present
  • We tested for lead in the drinking water. The results came back positive.
  • positive = it found a substance to be present
  • I took a pregnancy test today. It was positive.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes
  • positive = indicating that a condition was found
  • You're positive for strep and mono.
    Tara Westover  --  Educated
  • positive = indicating that the results of a test showed that a condition was found
  • I worried that something dramatic had been found, until the doctor said, "You tested positive for Valley Fever."
    Pam Munoz Ryan  --  Esperanza Rising
  • positive = indicating that a condition was found
  • "Of course I tested positive," I said to the doctor.
    Pam Munoz Ryan  --  Esperanza Rising
  • positive = indicating that a condition was found
  • All four men eventually tested positive for Ebola Reston virus.
    Richard Preston  --  The Hot Zone
  • positive = indicating that a condition was found
  • Out of the eighteen, one was positive for melanoma.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  Dear John
  • positive = indicating that the results of a test showed that a condition was found
  • The press release failed to mention that some ground beef from the same lot had indeed been tested — and had tested positive for E. coli 0157:H7.
    Eric Schlosser  --  Fast Food Nation
positive = indicating that a condition was found

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
6  —as in:
a positive number
Definition greater than zero (of a number)
  • The company has a positive cash flow.
positive = greater than zero (in this case, cash in minus cash out is greater than zero)
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • We expect to achieve a positive cash flow next year.
  • positive = greater than zero (in this case, cash in minus cash out is expected to be greater than zero)
  • It is a positive number.
  • positive = greater than zero
  • So I limited the reactor enough that we weren't getting positive heat.
    Andy Weir  --  The Martian
  • positive = greater than zero
  • And then, slowly, she watched the second, perpendicular line appear: a plus sign, a positive, a cross to bear.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes
positive = greater than zero

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
Less commonly:
See a comprehensive dictionary for less common meanings of positive including some in the fields of electricity, physics, chemistry, medicine, philosophy, and grammar. Note that most all senses of positive indicate that something is good or present.
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