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positive (adj.)

early 14c., originally a legal term meaning "formally laid down," from Old French positif (13c.) and directly from Latin positivus "settled by agreement, positive" (opposed to naturalis "natural"), from positus, past participle of ponere "put, place" (see position (n.)).

Sense of "absolute" is from mid-15c. Meaning in philosophy of "dealing only with facts" is from 1590s. Sense broadened to "expressed without qualification" (1590s), then "confident in opinion" (1660s); mathematical use is from 1704; in electricity, 1755. Psychological sense of "concentrating on what is constructive and good" is recorded from 1916.

positive (n.)

1520s, from positive (adj.).

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Definitions of positive from WordNet
1
positive (adj.)
persuaded of; very sure;
I am positive he is lying
Synonyms: convinced / confident
positive (adj.)
characterized by or displaying affirmation or acceptance or certainty etc.;
a positive attitude
the reviews were all positive
a positive benefit
a positive demand
positive (adj.)
involving advantage or good;
a plus (or positive) factor
Synonyms: plus
positive (adj.)
indicating existence or presence of a suspected condition or pathogen;
a positive pregnancy test
Synonyms: confirming
positive (adj.)
formally laid down or imposed;
positive laws
Synonyms: prescribed
positive (adj.)
impossible to deny or disprove;
proof positive
positive (adj.)
of or relating to positivism;
positive philosophy
Synonyms: positivist / positivistic
positive (adj.)
reckoned, situated or tending in the direction which naturally or arbitrarily is taken to indicate increase or progress or onward motion;
positive increase in graduating students
positive (adj.)
greater than zero;
positive numbers
positive (adj.)
having a positive charge;
protons are positive
Synonyms: electropositive / positively charged
positive (adj.)
marked by excessive confidence;
the less he knows the more positive he gets
Synonyms: cocksure / overconfident
2
positive (n.)
the primary form of an adjective or adverb; denotes a quality without qualification, comparison, or relation to increase or diminution;
Synonyms: positive degree
positive (n.)
a film showing a photographic image whose tones correspond to those of the original subject;
From wordnet.princeton.edu