early 15c., "having the quality of receiving, acting as a receptacle," from Medieval Latin receptivus, from Latin recipere "to hold, contain" (see receive). Meaning "affecting or relating to the comprehension of speech or writing" is from 1926. Related: Receptively; receptiveness; receptivity.
early 15c., "having the quality of taking something in, receptive, capable of admitting," from Medieval Latin susceptivus, from suscept-, stem of suscipere "to take, accept, receive" (see susceptible). Related: Susceptively; susceptiveness; susceptivity.
"sufficiently able, having power or capacity, qualified," 1590s, from French capable "able, sufficient; able to hold," or directly from Late Latin capabilis "receptive; able to grasp or hold," used by theologians, from Latin capax "able to hold much, broad, wide, roomy;" also "receptive, fit for;" adjectival form of capere "to grasp, lay hold, take, catch; undertake; take in, hold; be large enough for; comprehend" (from PIE root *kap- "to grasp"). Other late 16c. senses in English, now obsolete, were "able to comprehend; able to contain; extensive." Related: Capably.
"a receiver or taker," especially "one who receives or accepts something given," 1550s, from French récipient (16c.) and directly from Latin recipientem (nominative recipiens), present participle of recipere "to hold, contain" (see receive). As an adjective in English, "receiving, receptive, acting or capable of serving as a receiver," from 1610s. Related: Recipience "a receiving, the act of or capacity for receiving" (1882); recipiency (1822).
late 14c., passif, of matter, "capable of being acted upon;" of persons, "receptive;" also in the grammatical sense "expressive of being affected by some action" (opposed to active), from Old French passif "suffering, undergoing hardship" (14c.) and directly from Latin passivus "capable of feeling or suffering," from pass-, past-participle stem of pati "to suffer" (see passion).
The meaning "not active or acting" is recorded from late 15c.; the sense of "unresisting, not opposing, enduring suffering without resistance" is from 1620s. Related: Passively. As a noun, late 14c. as "a capacity in matter for being acted upon;" also in grammar, "a passive verb."
Passive resistance is attested in 1819 in Scott's "Ivanhoe" and was used throughout 19c.; it was re-coined by Gandhi c. 1906 in South Africa. Passive-aggressive with reference to behavior or personality characterized by indirect resistance but avoidance of direct confrontation is attested by 1971.