Definitions of passive

  1. lacking in energy or will; " Much benevolence of the passive order may be traced to a disinclination to inflict pain upon oneself"- George Meredith
  2. peacefully resistant in response to injustice; " passive resistance"
  3. the voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is the recipient ( not the source) of the action denoted by the verb; "` The ball was thrown by the boy' uses the passive voice"; "` The ball was thrown' is an abbreviated passive"
  4. ( grammar) passive voice
  5. expressing thatthe subject of the sentence is the patient of the action denoted by the verb; " academics seem to favor passive sentences"
  6. Not active, but acted upon; suffering or receiving impressions or influences; as, they were passive spectators, not actors in the scene.
  7. Receiving or enduring without either active sympathy or active resistance; without emotion or excitement; patient; not opposing; unresisting; as, passive obedience; passive submission.
  8. Inactive; inert; not showing strong affinity; as, red phosphorus is comparatively passive.
  9. Designating certain morbid conditions, as hemorrhage or dropsy, characterized by relaxation of the vessels and tissues, with deficient vitality and lack of reaction in the affected tissues.
  10. Suffering without resisting; not acting but acted upon; as, a passive disposition; submissive; in grammar, indicating that form of the transitive verb which asserts that the subject is acted upon.
  11. Passiveness, Passivity.
  12. Not active, submissive.
  13. Quiet; unresisting; inactive.
  14. Suffering: unresisting: not acting: ( gram.) expressing the suffering of an action.
  17. Unresisting; not acting.
  18. Not acting, but acted upon; inactive; unresisting; submissive.
  19. Pertaining to a form of verb that represents the subject of the verb as the object of the action.
  20. Suffering; not acting; receptive; unresisting; not opposing. Passive verb, that form of the verb which implies passion or being acted, upon Passive obedience, impl. cit obedience, as due to a sovereign.
  21. Not opposing or resisting; suffering without resistance; submissive; denoting that form of a verb in which the object of the active voice becomes the subject.

Usage examples for passive

  1. Till this time he seems to have been a passive instrument, attending only to such circumstances as came in his way on this subject. – The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade by the British Parliament (1808), Vol. I by Thomas Clarkson
  2. He is at his most humorous in writing of Mr. Pickwick, who represents passive virtue. – Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens by G. K. Chesterton
  3. There was probably another gun within quick reach of that passive right hand. – The Man Who Staked the Stars by Charles Dye
  4. This was no passive belief, but an active weapon which they flashed at more convenient places of business. – Dickens As an Educator by James L. (James Laughlin) Hughes
  5. " Negative, passive, at the best, Mr. Whitford. – The Complete Project Gutenberg Works of George Meredith by George Meredith
  6. It made her passive, prevented her complete surrender. – K by Mary Roberts Rinehart
  7. Since only transitive verbs can have a receiver of the action, only transitive verbs can have both active and passive voice. – Practical Grammar and Composition by Thomas Wood
  8. For some reason he ceased to strain against the compelling hands and sat passive. – Charles Rex by Ethel M. Dell
  9. I looked across to the Duke's passive tired face. – The King's Mirror by Anthony Hope
  10. Very few were passive spectators of the busy scene. – A Little Hero by Mrs. H. Musgrave
  11. Not only had he to put up with active but also with much passive opposition. –  by
  12. Morgan was now passive in the hands of his wife, and obeyed her almost like a child. – Ten Nights in a Bar Room by T. S. Arthur
  13. She had few of the passive virtues. – Polly Oliver's Problem by Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin
  14. To form the Passive Voice. – Pitman's Commercial Spanish Grammar (2nd ed.) by C. A. Toledano
  15. Cease everything, even thinking, so far as it can be stopped, and remain passive thirty seconds. – Seed Thoughts for Singers by Frank Herbert Tubbs
  16. She did not remember that she had ever before felt so much concern for an indifferent person, and, being of an active temperament, she could not be content with a passive solicitude. – A Venetian June by Anna Fuller
  17. At another time her mother might have been startled at her passive obedience. – Openings in the Old Trail by Bret Harte
  18. Moreover, since the entire worship was conducted in Latin, the congregation was inevitably doomed to passive silence. – The Story of Our Hymns by Ernest Edwin Ryden
  19. Nor was his courage merely passive. – Dr. Johnson and His Circle by John Bailey