Meaning of “active” in the English Dictionary

"active" in British English

See all translations


uk /ˈæk.tɪv/ us /ˈæk.tɪv/

active adjective (BUSY)

B1 busy with a particular activity:

You have to try to keep active as you grow older.

More examples

  • It's good for old people to stay active if they can.
  • I had an active social life when I was at college.
  • At 84 he's still quite active, although he walks with the aid of a stick.
  • It was a very active day on the stock market today.

active adjective (INVOLVED)

B2 involved in a particular activity:

Enemy forces remain active in the mountainous areas around the city.
She's very active in (= involved in) local politics.
Both of his parents were very politically active.
It is important to educate children before they become sexually active.
He takes a more active role in the team nowadays.
She's an active member of her trade union (= not only belongs to it, but does work to help it).

More examples

  • They both play an active part in their local church.

active adjective (GRAMMAR)

B1 language An active verb or sentence is one in which the subject is the person or thing that performs the stated action:

"Catrin told me" is an active sentence, and "I was told by Catrin" is passive.

More examples

  • When you use active verbs in your written work, rather than passive ones, it sounds clearer and more direct.
  • Active sentences, such as 'The dog chased the cat', are more concise than passive sentences like 'The cat was chased by the dog'.
  • Speech-writers should use active verbs for a strong, direct style.
  • The sentence 'Oranges contain Vitamin C' uses an active verb.
  • In the sentence 'A thief stole my wallet', the verb is active and in the past simple tense.

activenoun [ S ]

uk /ˈæk.tɪv/ us /ˈæk.tɪv/

(Definition of “active” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"active" in American English

See all translations


us /ˈæk·tɪv/

active adjective (DOING SOMETHING)

doing something as you usually do, or being able to do something physically or mentally:

He was still an active runner at 55.
She’s active in state politics (= involved in it).
She intends to remain politically active.
His National Guard unit was put on active duty (= made part of the regular fighting force).

An active volcano is one that might begin to throw out hot gases, liquid, or rocks at any time.

active adjective (GRAMMAR)

grammar [ not gradable ] describing a verb or sentence in which the subject is the person or thing that does what is stated:

In "Alex gave me a gift," the verb "give" is active, and in "I was given a gift by Alex," "give" is passive.
adverb us /ˈæk·tɪv·li/

He isn’t actively involved in the day-to-day management of the business anymore.

(Definition of “active” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"active" in Business English

See all translations


uk /ˈæktɪv/ us

busy with or involved in a particular activity:

active in sth He expects to remain active in commodity trading in London.
She claims to be active in almost every aspect of her business.

doing something practical rather than allowing a situation to develop by itself:

an active member/participant He has been an active member of the Executive Committee since 2004.
an active part/role Employees who take an active part in the project feel more involved and more responsible about the results.
active in sth We would expect countries whose firms are highly globalized to be more active in adopting e-commerce.
See also

FINANCE involving a lot of buying and selling of shares, etc.:

active buying/trading Trading was most active in five-year maturities.
The session was active early, but volume dropped off after midday.
This made Intel the second-most active stock in U.S. trading.

used to describe a company that is selling goods and services or doing business, especially in a particular place:

Whitbread was especially active but several other brewers were also buying at the rate of 20 or 30 a year.
be active in sth The company is active in a wide range of businesses, including oil, chemicals, and construction.
Over the last ten years, the company has become active in Europe.

working or being used at a particular time:

active accounts/cardholders/customers The company has more than one million active cardholders, with about 44% of all group sales being made through the card.
The organization releases a weekly survey of the number of active oil and gas drilling rigs in the U.S. and Canada.

IT relating to programs, etc. that are being used at a particular time:

Click the associated tab in a bar running across the screen, and the selected page opens in the active window.

(Definition of “active” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)