negative - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    expressing disagreement or criticism

    a negative response

    a negative opinion of her qualifications

    1. a.
      expressing opposition to something, especially when there is a choice

      His answer was negative.

    2. b.
      linguistics a negative word or phrase means ‘no’ or ‘not’. Verb groups add ‘not’ or ‘n’t’ to indicate negative meaning, for example ‘Don’t drive when you’re tired’ and ‘I can’t help you this time’. Words such as ‘no’, ‘never’, ‘no one’ and ‘neither … nor’ also add negative meaning, for exampleI’ve never heard of him’, ‘No problem!’ and ‘Throw away everything that is neither useful nor beautiful’. Word forms can add prefixes like ‘un’ and ‘dis’ to create negative forms, for exampleunhappy’ and ‘dislike’.
  2. 2
    harmful, or bad

    The ad campaign actually had a negative impact on sales.

    I hope the divorce won’t have a negative effect on the children.

  3. 3
    giving more attention or emphasis to bad possibilities than good ones

    a negative attitude towards women

    The article presents a rather negative view of professional sports.

  4. 6
    maths a negative number or amount is less than zero

derived word