Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

positive - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective     positive pronunciation in American English
  1. 1
    [never before noun] completely certain
    positive (that):

    Are you positive that there’s been no mistake?

    positive about/of:

    We’d met before – I was positive about that.

    We’ll earn from this deal – I’m positive of that.

  2. 2
    believing that good things will happen or that a situation will get better

    a positive attitude

    Try to think positive thoughts.

    positive about:

    You have every reason to be positive about the future.

  3. 3
    showing agreement or approval

    The experiment is working well and the feedback is very positive.

    We couldn’t be sure if her reaction would be positive.

  4. 4
    a positive experience, situation, result, etc. is a good one

    The positive aspects of parenthood far outweigh the negative ones.

    School was a totally positive experience for me.

    a positive result/outcome:

    An initiative to help homeless people is showing positive results.

    1. a.
      used about someone or something that encourages positive behavior, attitudes, etc.

      a positive role model

      Students learn better in this positive environment.

  5. 5
    informal used for emphasizing how true, important, etc. something is

    The whole party was a positive embarrassment.

  6. 6
    if you do something positive, you do something to try to improve a situation or to help someone rather than doing nothing

    You must be prepared to make a positive contribution to the business.

  7. 7
    showing that a situation is likely to improve

    The indications are positive that this year’s festival will be a success.

  8. 8
    a positive result in a medical test means that the person has the disease or condition that was tested for

    a positive diagnosis

    test positive (for something):

    The runner was suspended for two years after he tested positive for steroids.

  9. 9
    maths a positive number is higher than zero
  10. 10
    medical used for saying that someone’s blood contains a substance called Rh factor. You can say that someone is Rh positive or that their blood type is, for example, O positive or A positive.
  11. 11
    a positive image such as a photograph shows light and colors in the same way that the original image does
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play