Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “negative”

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

bright spark

a person who is intelligent, and full of energy and enthusiasm

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More