Adjective "Passive" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance.
  1. 'Historians are now concerned with resistance in active and passive forms, organised and impromptu, group and individual, male and female, political, economic, and cultural.'
  2. 'He could have remained a passive passenger allowing the constable to deal with the driver or could have insisted Mr Main breath-test Ms Johnstone but did neither.'
  3. 'The inhabitants of the colony prove to be neither passive victims nor fierce resistors in some undifferentiated manner.'
  4. 'She asked how it happened that ordinary Salvadorans went from decades of passive acceptance to active insurgency in a short time.'
  5. 'Seminal studies in mammals indicated that the threshold at which the shift from an active to a passive behavioral response occurs is subject to great individual variation.'
  6. 'Ultimately, as you follow this kind of plan, you will gain a passive income that allows you to quit your job, and you become, by definition, financially independent.'
  7. 'As Hickey noted, peasants have many methods of passive and active resistance, and force is often counterproductive as a motivator.'
  8. 'There is absolute integrity in the distinction between passive consumption and active use, except insofar as ‘use’ of a product signifies its consumption anyway.'
  9. 'The South African government's passive response to events in Zimbabwe inevitably raises awkward questions about the depth of its own commitment to democracy.'
  10. 'The distinction between physically passive and relatively active patients, based on actometry, is helpful to select the correct approach to help the patient.'
Denoting a voice of verbs in which the subject undergoes the action of the verb (e.g. they were killed as opposed to the active form he killed them).
  1. 'As is so often the case, it is the use of the passive voice in the paragraph that leads you into ambiguity and trouble.'
  2. 'Instead, the memo I circulated to the faculty was firmly rooted in the third person and utilized the passive voice.'
  3. 'No, you would have to be careful not to put it in a passive voice.'
  4. 'Numerous simple declarative sentences, at times virtually unconnected conceptually, and rampant use of the passive voice make the book difficult to read.'
  5. 'In Hindi, the passive voice is almost standard.'
  6. 'The passive voice gives a sense of detached and objective authority that, in contrast to the imperative mode, is expressive of neutrality.'
  7. 'Eventually, I rejected my advisor's advice to write in the passive voice; it surely sounded more scientific, but was far duller.'
  8. 'When it was applied to the husband, the translators rendered the verb in an active form; when applied to the woman they rendered it passive.'
  9. 'The general pattern appears to be that the unmarked, active voice acts as a same function category, while the marked, passive voice indicates a switch in function.'
  10. 'In many cases, the headline was also couched in a passive voice.'
(of a circuit or device) containing no source of electromotive force.
  1. 'Of the passive devices, the charcoal canisters and charcoal liquid scintillation detectors are typically used for short-term tests.'
  2. 'We have them on passive sensors,’ called Dan, ‘they're offsetting towards us.’'
  3. 'However, in the attempt to pace up with this evolution, thinner on-chip metals and dielectrics have a troubling effect on the Q factor of on-chip passives.'
  4. '‘The electromagnetic field in the ionosphere is masking our passive sensors,’ the officer of the deck said.'
  5. 'Harmonics may further be controlled by limiting a conductance between gate electrodes and fixed potentials using an active or passive device.'
  6. 'No power is required to maintain the passive optical circuit.'
  7. 'The dangerous missiles were entirely passive, homing in on infrared radiation given out by our aircraft and emitting no signals by which a missile lock could be detected.'
  8. 'For example, implementing passive filters in a dynamic, changing facility might cause the appearance of resonant flows that arc dangerous and hard to find.'
  9. 'I tuned the passive sensors to their highest level.'
  10. 'Unfortunately, the mVCR recording tool is passive.'
  11. 'Devices range from integrated passive devices and analogue components to power devices, serial EEPROMs and flash memory.'
  12. 'It can be fired as a long-range standoff missile, or its all-aspect passive radar homing seeker can be used to detect and attack targets of opportunity.'
  13. 'The 82845GV GMCH is just adjacent, and is cooled by a rather small passive heatsink only.'
  14. 'In winter, the passive system makes use of the buffer zone for cooling and the mechanical system provides heating.'
  15. 'Most earth homes are concentrated in hot, dry climates and are suited for passive solar heating and cooling in such areas.'
  16. 'Energy-conscious design may combine conservation methods, such as insulation and thermostat set-back, with passive solar heating.'
  17. 'A passive solar hot-water system preheats water for the showers, and a photovoltaic array supplements municipal electricity.'
  18. 'Where am I going to put my house to maximize passive solar heating?'
  19. 'Clad in mirrored glass over a uniform space frame, the design boasts passive solar heating and wind cooling obtained through operable strips of ventilating windows.'
  20. 'A skylight can be an efficient and desirable source of passive solar heating, assuming that you need the heat.'
  21. 'The tree can be an important characteristic of passive solar heating, providing early afternoon summer shade, and little effect in winter with the leaves off.'
  22. 'Other systems include integrated wastewater treatment, photovoltaic electrical systems, solar hot water and passive solar heating.'
  23. 'During the 1970s energy crisis, many designers and builders plunged into passive solar home construction.'
(of a metal) made unreactive by a thin inert surface layer of oxide.
  1. 'I expected that the passive design would require a greater cooling surface area - or at least, metal tubing instead of plastic hoses to provide better thermal dissipation.'
  2. 'Cooling the SiS645 northbridge is a silver, passive heatsink.'


A passive form of a verb.
  1. 'The question is simply this: do these words give us a true example of a verb that is middle or passive in form but active in meaning?'
  2. 'Have you ever read something that assiduously avoids all passives and progressives?'
  3. 'By the way, they discuss many different kinds of bias on the part of Reuters, not just choice between actives and passives.'
  4. 'What about conjoining a passive with an active?'
  5. 'With this framework, one can see politeness strategies in regularities of scientific style - such as the use of pronouns and of passives - that are usually explained in terms of conventions.'
  6. 'It was thought to be characterized by a fairly high proportion of such features as subordinate clauses, adjectives, the pronoun I and passives.'
  7. 'Choose active or passive verbs for their special effects.'
  8. 'But I really do hate passive voice and buried claims like the plague.'
  9. 'It followed that findings should be presented in the third person, and in a passive and cautious voice.'
  10. 'We have already observed that during the time of Hellenistic Greek, the middle voice form was losing ground to the passive.'
  11. 'Further, with all forms except the aorist and future, we are not able to tell whether a verb is middle or passive.'


1. not reacting visibly to something that might be expected to produce manifestations of an emotion or feeling.

2. not participating readily or actively; inactive: a passive member of a committee.

3. not involving visible reaction or active participation: to play a passive role.

4. inert or quiescent.

5. influenced, acted upon, or affected by some external force, cause, or agency; being the object of action rather than causing action (opposed to active).

6. receiving or cha

More examples(as adjective)

"ministers can be passive in debates."

"institutions can be passive in/at/on todays."

"governments can be passive on issues."

"objectives can be passive."

"smokings can be passive."

More examples++


Late Middle English (in passive (sense 2 of the adjective), also in the sense ‘(exposed to) suffering, acted on by an external agency’): from Latin passivus, from pass- ‘suffered’, from the verb pati.