AskDefine | Define passive

Dictionary Definition

passive adj
1 lacking in energy or will; "Much benevolence of the passive order may be traced to a disinclination to inflict pain upon oneself"- George Meredith [syn: inactive] [ant: active]
2 peacefully resistant in response to injustice; "passive resistance" [syn: peaceful]
3 expressing thatthe subject of the sentence is the patient of the action denoted by the verb; "academics seem to favor passive sentences" [ant: active] n : the voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is the recipient (not the source) of the action denoted by the verb; "`The ball was thrown by the boy' uses the passive voice"; "`The ball was thrown' is an abbreviated passive" [syn: passive voice] [ant: active voice]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. Something that is not active, but rather is acted upon.
  2. When the subject of a sentence has an action done to them.
    The passive form of “A meteorite hit the earth” is “The earth was hit by a meteorite.”
  3. Remaining neutral or submissive during an event.
    He remained passive during the protest.
  4. In same-sex male relationships, the bottom or receptive sexual partner, opposite the active.
  5. In BDSM relationships, the submissive or bottom partner, opposite the active.


not active, but acted upon
receptive sexual partner (gay)
submissive sexual partner (BDSM)
passive voice in grammar
remaining neutral, taking no action



  1. uncountable grammar The passive voice of verbs.
  2. countable grammar A form of a verb that is in the passive voice.



passive p

Extensive Definition

Passive is the opposite of active. It has several specific meanings:

See also

passive in German: Passiv
passive in French: Passif
passive in Slovak: Pasívnosť

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Laodicean, Olympian, abeyant, abject, accepting, accommodating, acquiescent, active, active voice, adapting, adaptive, adjusting, agreeable, aloof, amenable, apathetic, asleep, assenting, bearing, benumbed, blah, blank, blankminded, blase, bovine, calm, cataleptic, catatonic, centrist, comatose, complaisant, compliable, compliant, complying, consenting, contemplative, cool, dead, deferential, desensitized, detached, disinterested, dispassionate, do-nothing, docile, dopey, dormant, dull, empty, empty-headed, enduring, even, fatuous, fifty-fifty, flat, flexible, forbearing, foul, gentle, groggy, half-and-half, heartless, heavy, hebetudinous, hopeless, humble, idle, immobile, impartial, impassive, imperturbable, implicit, in a stupor, in abeyance, in suspense, inactive, inane, incogitant, independent, indifferent, inert, insouciant, laissez-aller, laissez-faire, lamblike, languid, languorous, latent, leaden, lethargic, lifeless, listless, logy, long-suffering, malleable, medio-passive, meditative, meek, middle, middle voice, midway, moderate, motionless, neuter, neutral, nirvanic, nonaligned, nonchalant, noncommitted, nondissenting, nonpartisan, nonresistant, nonresisting, nonresistive, nonviolent, numb, numbed, obedient, oblivious, on the fence, out of it, ovine, paralytic, paralyzed, passive voice, patient, phlegmatic, placid, pliable, pluckless, procrastinating, quiescent, quiet, quietist, quietistic, receptive, reconciled, reflexive, relaxed, repressed, resigned, sedentary, serene, servile, sheepish, slack, sleeping, sleepy, sluggish, slumbering, smoldering, soporific, spiritless, spunkless, stagnant, stagnating, standing, standpat, static, stationary, still, stoic, stolid, stupefied, subdued, submissive, subservient, supine, suspended, tacit, tame, third-force, third-world, thoughtfree, thoughtless, tolerant, torpid, tractable, tranquil, unaffected, unaroused, unassertive, uncaring, uncommitted, uncomplaining, unconcerned, undisclosed, unexpressed, unideaed, unintellectual, uninterested, uninvolved, unmoved, unmoving, unoccupied, unperturbed, unreasoning, unresistant, unresisting, unresponsive, unrevealed, unshaken, unthinking, untouched, vacant, vacuous, vegetable, vegetative, voice, withdrawn, yielding
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