American English

Definition of negative adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1bad or harmful The crisis had a negative effect on trade. The whole experience was definitely more positive than negative. opposite positive
  2. not hopeful
  3. 2considering only the bad side of something or someone; lacking enthusiasm or hope Scientists have a fairly negative attitude toward the theory. “He probably won't show up.” “Don't be so negative.” opposite positive
  4. no
  5. 3expressing the answer “no” His response was negative. They received a negative reply. opposite affirmative
  6. grammar
  7. 4containing a word such as “no,” “not,” “never,” etc. a negative form/sentence
  8. scientific test
  9. 5(abbreviation neg.) not showing any evidence of a particular substance or medical condition Her pregnancy test was negative. opposite positive
  10. electricity
  11. 6(technology) containing or producing the type of electricity that is carried by an electron a negative charge/current the negative terminal of a battery opposite positive
  12. number/quantity
  13. 7less than zero a negative trade balance opposite positive
    adverb to react negatively to stress to respond negatively negatively charged electrons
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: negative