Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “passive”

passive

adjective uk   /ˈpæs.ɪv/ us  

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

passive adjective (GRAMMAR)

B1 specialized language describes 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 that causes the effect: 'He was released from prison' is a passive sentence.
passively
adverb uk   /-li/ us  
He tends to wait passively for his boss to tell him what to do.
Grammar

passive

noun [S] uk   /ˈpæs.ɪv/ specialized us  
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'.
Compare
Grammar
(Definition of passive from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of passive?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Passive and not working, but you might be interested in these topics from the Working topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “passive” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

dawn on sb

If a fact dawns on you, you understand it after a period of not understanding it.

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