negative - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “negative”

See all translations

negative

adjective uk   /ˈneɡ.ə.tɪv/  us   /-t̬ɪv/

negative adjective (NO)

B2 expressing "no": We received a negative answer to our request.
Opposite
A2 A negative sentence or phrase is one that contains a word such as "not", "no", "never", or "nothing": "I've never seen him in my life" is a negative sentence. "Don't" and "do not" are negative forms of "do".
More examples

negative adjective (WITHOUT HOPE)

B1 not expecting good things, or likely to consider only the bad side of a situation: a negative attitude You're so negative about everything!
Compare
More examples

negative adjective (BAD)

B2 bad or harmful: The warm winter has had a very negative effect/impact on the ski industry.

negative adjective (ELECTRICITY)

of the type of electrical charge that is carried by electrons
Opposite

negative adjective (TEST RESULTS)

(of a medical test) showing that the patient does not have the disease or condition for which he or she has been tested: a negative pregnancy test The results of his HIV test were negative.
Opposite

negative adjective (BELOW ZERO)

(of a number or amount) less than zero: negative numbers
Opposite

negative adjective (BLOOD TYPE)

not having the rhesus factor in the blood: Her blood type is O negative.
Opposite
negatively
adverb uk   us   /-li/
Grammar

negative

noun uk   /ˈneɡ.ə.tɪv/  us   /-t̬ɪv/

negative noun (PHOTOGRAPH)

[C] (informal neg) a piece of film from which a photograph can be produced, and in which light and dark areas appear the opposite to the way in which they appear in the photograph: black-and-white/colour negatives I've borrowed the negatives of her wedding photos so I can get some pictures printed.

negative noun (NO)

[C or U] a word or statement that expresses "no": I didn't hear your answer, Ed - was that a negative? I'm afraid the reply was definitely in the negative (= was "no").

negative noun (BAD THING)

[C] a bad feature or characteristic: He always looks for the negatives in any situation.
Grammar
(Definition of negative from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of negative?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “negative” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

disappear off the face of the earth

to disappear completely

Word of the Day

The language of elections

by Liz Walter,
April 22, 2015
On May 7th, citizens of the UK will be going to the polls (having an election) to decide who will form the next government. This kind of election is known as a general election. The country is divided into 650 areas, called constituencies. Each constituency elects a member of parliament (MP) to

Read More 

dumbwalking noun

April 20, 2015
walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

Read More