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positive
used in Gulliver's Travels

2 meanings, 4 uses
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1  —3 uses as in:
I'm absolutely positive!
Definition
certain (having no doubt; or used for emphasis)
  • So that controversies, wranglings, disputes, and positiveness, in false or dubious propositions, are evils unknown among the Houyhnhnms.
    Part 4 — A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnms (61% in)
positiveness = the state of being absolutely sure of something

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means state or degree of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • This project could not be of any great expense to the public; and might in my poor opinion, be of much use for the despatch of business, in those countries where senates have any share in the legislative power; beget unanimity, shorten debates, open a few mouths which are now closed, and close many more which are now open; curb the petulancy of the young, and correct the positiveness of the old; rouse the stupid, and damp the pert.
    Part 3 — A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, .... (54% in)
  • positiveness = the state of being absolutely sure of something

    (Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means state or degree of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
  • He was an honest man, and a good sailor, but a little too positive in his own opinions, which was the cause of his destruction, as it has been with several others; for if he had followed my advice, he might have been safe at home with his family at this time, as well as myself.
    Part 4 — A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnms (1% in)
positive = certain
There are no more uses of "positive" flagged with this meaning in Gulliver's Travels.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
2  —1 use as in:
had a positive effect
Definition
good or beneficial
  • ...and they showed, with great strength of reason, "that the royal throne could not be supported without corruption, because that positive, confident, restiff temper, which virtue infused into a man, was a perpetual clog to public business."
    Part 3 — A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, .... (72% in)
positive = good or beneficial
There are no more uses of "positive" flagged with this meaning in Gulliver's Travels.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®