Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “negative”

See all translations

negative

adjective

negative adjective (NO)

   /ˈneɡ·ə·t̬ɪv/ expressing no or not, or expressing refusal: We received a negative answer to our request.    /ˈneɡ·ə·t̬ɪv/ A negative sentence or phrase is one that contains a word such as no, not, nor, never, or nothing.    /ˈneɡ·ə·t̬ɪv/ A medical test that is negative shows that you do not have that disease or condition.

negative adjective (NOT HAPPY)

   /ˈneɡ·ə·t̬ɪv/ not happy, hopeful, or approving; tending to consider only bad things: a negative attitude All the candidates in the mayoral campaign ran negative ads (= advertising saying bad things about each other).

negative adjective (LESS THAN ZERO)

algebra    /ˈneɡ·ə·t̬ɪv/ [not gradable] (of a number or amount) less than zero: negative numbers

negative adjective (ART)

art /ˈneɡ·ə·t̬ɪv/ (of spaces and shapes in a painting, statue, drawing, etc.) empty, or lacking objects or other particular features; background

negative adjective (ELECTRICITY)

physics    /ˈneɡ·ə·t̬ɪv/ [not gradable] of the type of electrical charge that an electron has

negative

noun  /ˈneɡ·ə·t̬ɪv/ us  

negative noun (PHOTOGRAPH)

[C] a piece of film in which light areas appear dark and dark areas appear light, the opposite of how they will appear in the photograph made from it

negative noun (NO)

[C/U] a word, phrase, or statement that expresses no or not, or that expresses refusal: [U] The governor replied in the affirmative (= The governor said no).
(Definition of negative from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of negative?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More American English definitions for “negative”

Definitions of “negative” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

comma

the symbol , used in writing to separate parts of a sentence showing a slight pause, or to separate the single things in a list

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More