positive Definition

  • 1expressing or implying the presence of something rather than its absence
  • 2confident in opinion or assertion; fully assured
  • 3consisting in or characterized by the presence or possession of features or qualities rather than their absence

Using positive: Examples

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

  • Example

    She has a positive attitude towards life.

  • Example

    The test result came back positive for COVID-19.

  • Example

    He gave a positive identification of the suspect.

  • Example

    The company has seen a positive growth in profits this year.

  • Example

    Positive feedback from customers is always encouraging.

positive Synonyms and Antonyms

Idioms Using positive

  • test positive (for something)

    to have a medical test show that one has a particular disease or condition


    He tested positive for drugs and was immediately suspended from the team.

  • to focus on the good aspects of a situation rather than the bad


    Even though she lost her job, she tried to look on the positive side and saw it as an opportunity to pursue a new career.

  • to be optimistic or confident about something


    I'm positive that we can finish the project on time if we work together.

Phrases with positive

  • the process of encouraging or establishing a pattern of behavior by offering rewards or praise for positive actions or outcomes


    Positive reinforcement is often used in child-rearing to encourage good behavior.

  • the practice of focusing on the good aspects of a situation and expecting positive outcomes


    Positive thinking can help reduce stress and improve mental health.

  • a self-reinforcing cycle in which a change in one direction leads to further changes in the same direction


    A positive feedback loop can lead to exponential growth or collapse.

Origins of positive

from Old French 'positif' and Latin 'positivus', meaning 'placed, settled'


Summary: positive in Brief

The term 'positive' [ˈpɑzətɪv] refers to the presence or possession of something, often with confidence or assurance. It can describe attitudes, results, or feedback, as in 'She has a positive attitude towards life,' 'The test result came back positive for COVID-19,' and 'Positive feedback from customers is always encouraging.' Phrases like 'positive reinforcement' and idioms like 'look on the positive side' denote a focus on the good aspects of a situation. 'Positive' is formal and synonymous with 'optimistic' and 'confident.'

How do native speakers use this expression?