American English

Definition of active adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1always busy doing things, especially physical activities Although he's almost 80, he is still very active. opposite inactive Before our modern age, people had a more physical and active lifestyle.
  2. taking part
  3. 2involved in something; making a determined effort and not leaving something to happen by itself They were both politically active. active involvement/participation/support/resistance She takes an active part in school life. The parents were active in campaigning against cuts to the education budget. They took active steps to prevent the spread of the disease.
  4. doing an activity
  5. 3doing something regularly; functioning sexually active teenagers animals that are active only at night The virus is still active in the blood. an active volcano (= likely to erupt ) opposite inactive compare dormant
  6. lively
  7. 4lively and full of ideas That child has a very active imagination.
  8. chemical
  9. 5having or causing a chemical effect What is the active ingredient in aspirin? opposite inactive
  10. grammar
  11. 6connected with a verb whose subject is the person or thing that performs the action In “He was driving the car,” the verb is active. compare passive
  12. actively adverb
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  13. Your proposal is being actively considered. She was actively looking for a job.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: active