Meaning of “passive” in the English Dictionary

"passive" in British English

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passiveadjective

uk /ˈpæs.ɪv/ 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 many professions women have been confined to more passive roles.
See also

More examples

  • the passive voice/mood
  • 'Catrin told me' is an active sentence, and 'I was told by Catrin' is passive.
  • In a passive sentence, the subject is the person or thing affected by the action of the verb.
  • 'Was made' is a passive form of the verb 'make'.
  • Some verbs do not have a passive form.
passively
adverb uk /ˈpæs.ɪv.li/ us /ˈpæs.ɪv.li/

He tends to wait passively for his boss to tell him what to do.

Grammar

passivenoun [ S ]

uk /ˈpæs.ɪv/ us /ˈpæs.ɪv/ specialized

Grammar

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

"passive" in American English

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passiveadjective

us /ˈpæs·ɪv/

passive adjective (BEHAVIOR)

not reacting to what happens, or not acting or taking part:

They attack people who are too weak or too passive to resist.

passive adjective (GRAMMAR)

grammar [ not gradable ] describing a verb or sentence in which the subject is the person or thing to which something stated is done:

In the sentence "I was given a gift by Alex," the verb "give" is passive, or in the passive voice.
Note: In English, passive verbs or sentences are formed with a form of the verb "to be" and a past participle.
passively
adverb us /ˈpæs·ɪv·li/

She watched passively as the children ran wild.
passivity
noun [ U ] /pæˈsɪv·ɪ·t̬i/

Unemployment leads to political passivity, according to a study in Sweden.

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

"passive" in Business English

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passiveadjective

uk /ˈpæsɪv/ us

not acting to influence or change a situation, but allowing others to be in control:

One of the interviewers asked most of the questions, and the other took a more passive role.
Interactive TV technology makes passive viewers into active participants.
passively
adverb

He tends to wait passively for his boss to tell him what to do.

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