negative Definition

  • 1expressing or implying the opposite of affirmation; denying
  • 2pessimistic or cynical
  • 3lacking positive qualities

Using negative: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "negative" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    He has a negative attitude towards everything.

  • Example

    The test result was negative for COVID-19.

  • Example

    The company's financial report showed a negative growth rate.

  • Example

    The politician's speech had a negative impact on his reputation.

negative Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for negative

Idioms Using negative

  • used to describe a response or answer that is negative or unfavorable


    When asked if he had any experience with coding, he replied in the negative.

  • to have a pessimistic or negative outlook on a situation


    Don't think negative, try to focus on the positive aspects of the project.

  • a person who always has a negative attitude and complains frequently


    I don't want to be a negative Nancy, but I don't think this plan will work.

Phrases with negative

  • critical comments or reactions to something, often used in business or product development


    The company received negative feedback from customers about their new product.

  • the empty or unoccupied areas in a design or artwork


    The artist used negative space to create a sense of balance in the painting.

  • a type of conditioning in which an unpleasant stimulus is removed after a behavior to decrease the likelihood of that behavior happening again


    The dog stopped barking when the owner gave it negative reinforcement by taking away its toy.

Origins of negative

from Latin 'negativus', meaning 'denying'


Summary: negative in Brief

The term 'negative' [ˈnɛɡətɪv] refers to expressing or implying the opposite of affirmation, or lacking positive qualities. It can describe attitudes, test results, growth rates, and impacts. Phrases like 'negative feedback,' 'negative space,' and 'negative reinforcement' extend the term into business, art, and psychology. Idioms like 'in the negative' and 'negative Nancy' denote unfavorable responses and attitudes.

How do native speakers use this expression?