Definition of negative noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈneɡətɪv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈneɡətɪv//
    Experiments and research
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  1. 1a word or statement that means ‘no’; a refusal or denial (formal) She answered in the negative (= said ‘no’). opposite affirmative
  2. in photography
  3. 2a developed film showing the dark areas of an actual scene as light and the light areas as dark Keep the negatives in case you want more prints later. compare positive
  4. in scientific test
  5. 3the result of a test or an experiment that shows that a substance or condition is not present The percentage of false negatives generated by the cancer test is of great concern. opposite positive See related entries: Experiments and research
  6. Word Originlate Middle English: from late Latin negativus, from negare ‘deny’.Extra examples His interest in photography started with him developing negatives that he found lying around the house. She answered the question in the negative. We must assume that the spy kept the negatives. a high proportion of false negatives
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: negative