passive definition, meaning - what is passive in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “passive”

See all translations

passive

adjective uk   us   /ˈpæs.ɪv/

passive adjective (BEHAVIOUR)

B2 often disapproving not acting to influence or change a situation; allowing other people to be in control: He's very passive in the relationship. Traditionally in the church women have been confined to more passive roles.
See also
More examples

passive adjective (GRAMMAR)

B1 specialized language The passive form of a verb is when the grammatical subject is the person or thing that experiences the effect of an action, rather than the person or thing that causes the effect: 'He was released from prison' is a passive sentence. In the sentence "He was hit by the ball", "was hit" is in the passive voice.
passively
adverb uk   us   /-li/
He tends to wait passively for his boss to tell him what to do.
Grammar

passive

noun [S] uk   us   /ˈpæs.ɪv/ specialized
the passive B1 the form of a verb used when the grammatical subject is the person or thing that experiences the effect of an action, rather than the person or thing which causes the effect: When changed into the passive, "The dog chased the cat" becomes "The cat was chased by the dog".
Grammar
(Definition of passive from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of passive?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “passive” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

kick off

the time when a game of football starts, or when it begins again after it has stopped because of a goal, etc.

Word of the Day

She’s got very good posture. (How we stand and sit)

by Liz Walter,
May 27, 2015
Recently on this blog, we looked at the words that we use to describe the way we move. This week we’re looking at words for describing our bodies when they are still, whether we are standing or sitting. Since most of us do far too much of this, let’s start with sitting.

Read More 

ancestral health noun

May 25, 2015
diet based on the presumed diet of our Palaeolithic ancestors ‘Ancestral health,’ to use a term popular among Paleo followers, has gone mass.

Read More