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Definition of “passive” - English Dictionary

"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 ​attackpeople 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 ​childrenranwild.
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 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.
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expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • passive adjective (GRAMMAR)

B1 specialized language The passive ​form of a ​verb is being used when the ​grammaticalsubject 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   /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
the passive
B1 the ​form of a ​verb used when the ​grammaticalsubject is the ​person or thing that ​experiences the ​effect of an ​action, ​rather than the ​person or thing that ​causes the ​effect: When ​changed into the passive, "The ​dogchased the ​cat" ​becomes "The ​cat was ​chased by the ​dog".
Grammar
(Definition of passive from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"passive" in Business English

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passiveadjective

uk   us   /ˈpæsɪv/
not ​acting to ​influence or ​change a ​situation, but ​allowing others to be in ​control: One of the ​interviewersasked most of the ​questions, and the other took a more passive role. Interactive TV ​technology makes passive ​viewers into ​activeparticipants.
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)
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“passive” in Business English

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