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Definition of "passive" []

  • Receiving or subjected to an action without responding or initiating an action in return: the mind viewed as a passive receptacle for sensory experience. See Synonyms at inactive. (adjective)
  • Accepting or submitting without objection or resistance; submissive: a passive acceptance of one's fate. (adjective)
  • Existing, conducted, or experienced without active or concerted effort: "Although tick paralysis is a reportable disease in Washington, surveillance is passive, and only 10 cases were reported during 1987-1995” ( U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). "[Many parents believe] that computers are educational and, at the least, less passive than television” ( Tamar Lewin). (adjective)
  • Of, relating to, or being certain bonds or shares that do not bear financial interest. (adjective)
  • Of, relating to, or being a solar heating or cooling system that uses no external mechanical power. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "passive" in a sentence
  • "The Conjugation of an active verb, is styled the _active voice_; and that of a passive verb, the _passive voice_."
  • "When the perfect participle of an _intransitive_ verb is joined to the neuter verb _to be_, the combination is not a passive verb, but a _neuter_ verb in a _passive form_; as, "He _is gone_;"
  • "Flacius declared with respect to the issue formulated by Strigel: "I explain my entire view as follows: Man is purely passive (_homo se habet pure passive_)."