• WordNet 3.6
    • adj passive lacking in energy or will "Much benevolence of the passive order may be traced to a disinclination to inflict pain upon oneself"- George Meredith"
    • adj passive expressing that the subject of the sentence is the patient of the action denoted by the verb "academics seem to favor passive sentences"
    • adj passive peacefully resistant in response to injustice "passive resistance"
    • n passive 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"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The search engine "Lycos" is named for Lycosidae, the Latin name for the wolf spider family. Unlike other spiders that sit passively in their web, wolf spiders are hunters, actively stalking their prey.
    • Passive (Med) Designating certain morbid conditions, as hemorrhage or dropsy, characterized by relaxation of the vessels and tissues, with deficient vitality and lack of reaction in the affected tissues.
    • Passive (Chem) Inactive; inert; unreactive; not showing strong affinity; as, red phosphorus is comparatively passive .
    • Passive Not active, but acted upon; suffering or receiving impressions or influences; as, they were passive spectators, not actors in the scene. "The passive air
      Upbore their nimble tread."
      "The mind is wholly passive in the reception of all its simple ideas."
    • Passive Receiving or enduring without either active sympathy or active resistance; without emotion or excitement; patient; not opposing; unresisting; as, passive obedience; passive submission. "The best virtue, passive fortitude."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • passive Suffering; not acting; inactive; receiving or capable of receiving impressions from external objects.
    • passive Receptive; unresisting; not opposing; receiving or suffering without resistance: as, passive obedience; passive submission to the laws.
    • passive In grammar, expressive of the suffering or enduring of some action, or the being affected by some action: applied to a derivative mode of conjugation, by which that which is the object of the other or “active” form is made the subject of the enduring of the verbal action: thus, Lydia a me amatur, ‘Lydia is loved by me,’ is corresponding passive to ego Lydiam amo, ‘I love Lydia.’ A nearly complete passive conjugation is formed especially in Latin; and the name passive is given also to the equivalent verb-phrases in other languages, as English, French, and German. Abbreviated passive
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Passive pas′iv suffering, unresisting: not acting:
    • adj Passive pas′iv (gram.) expressing the suffering of an action by the subject of the verb
    • ***


  • Simone De Beauvoir
    “To make oneself an object, to make oneself passive, is a very different thing from being a passive object.”
  • Publius Cornelius Tacitus
    “A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of few individuals, with the blessing of more, and amid the passive acquiescence of all.”
  • King Jr. Martin Luther
    “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.”
  • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
    “Hatred is active, and envy passive dislike; there is but one step from envy to hate.”
  • James Humes
    James Humes
    “One secret of leadership is that the mind of a leader never turns off. Leaders even when they are sightseers or spectators, are active; not passive observers.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow -- that is patience.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. passivus,: cf. F. passif,. See Passion
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. passivuspati, suffer.


In literature:

There is no frown there; rather, a passive and universal welcome to any who may have in them the will and the power to climb.
"Winds Of Doctrine" by George Santayana
It is quite a mistake to suppose that dreams are built up out of the purely passive sensations of sight and hearing.
"Illusions" by James Sully
The woman lay passive within the bunk.
"Ben Blair" by Will Lillibridge
Her brain had been passive in her sad affairs.
"The Helpmate" by May Sinclair
Besides these, there is a method of expressing the infinitive, a passive participle, and two forms of verbal adjectives.
"The Mafulu" by Robert W. Williamson
So far as the passive side of character goes, he does excellently.
"Among Famous Books" by John Kelman
He could not be passive either physically or mentally.
"The Hidden Places" by Bertrand W. Sinclair
In the passive voice we use a different set of personal endings.
"Latin for Beginners" by Benjamin Leonard D'Ooge
If, now, the eyes be directed to a distant object, there will result a sense of rest, or passiveness.
"The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English" by R. V. Pierce
In short, the self, as long as it is a self, can never be purely passive.
"Nature Mysticism" by J. Edward Mercer

In poetry:

Tho' while she thus extends her reign,
And rules the passive mind;
Her arrows wound us as we go,
And reason's sight is blind.
"The Advantages Of Resignation" by Elizabeth Bath
The frost weaves ferns and sultry palms
Across my clouded pane;
Weaves melodies of ancient psalms
All through my passive brain.
"Songs of the Winter Nights" by George MacDonald
Next to him the eldest daughter:
She suggested very little,
Only asked if he would take her
With her look of 'passive beauty.'
"Hiawatha's Photographing " by Lewis Carroll
He crouches like a passive sphinx before
Some temple-gate, or grinning, moves to grant
Thine entrance at the monarch's golden door.
"The Chimera" by Clark Ashton Smith
'Nay, I do not need thy sword,
Comrade mine,' said Ury's lord.
'Put it up, I pray thee:
Passive to His holy will,
Trust I in my Master still,
Even though He slay me.
"Barclay Of Ury" by John Greenleaf Whittier
"The fruitful earth then forth doth bring;
The vegetable tribes do spring;
The show'rs do fall, the groves do ring,
They all rejoice;
The birds their Maker's praise do sing;
With passive voice."
"Art And Nature" by Susannah Hawkins

In news:

Bradley Cooper may seem harmless, but new research shows a man's smile can make women more likely to do act passive.
Eleventh anniversary brings quiet, passive events.
Passive sunshades help save energy and improve worker comfort.
The level of interaction is rising fast — the Web is not a passive arena.
Its quiet releases, however, are not to be confused with the defeated or passive-aggressive variety.
She says the wakeboard park will put passive lake users, such as swimmers and people in canoes, in danger if a wakeboarder should lose control.
Understanding passive influence from dogs is absolutely critical.
The Niagara Passive TAP Series provides key features including.
This YouTube video might resonate with some Seattleites who, according to regional stereotypes, like to be a little passive aggressive when it comes to conflict.
Tucson News NowGet a Free Electronic Cigarette: E Cigarettes Have No Harmful Effects On Both Direct and Passive Inhalers Alike .
Air Force eyes passive radar surveillance with initiative on wideband phased array antennas .
Passive House Costs Explored.
Passive House Costs ExploredI've been following the JLC articles on super-insulated homes.
Don't Be Passive About Passwords.
Passive Smoking and Children was launched by the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) last week.

In science:

As a result, it is possible to realize a compact detector design with minimal passive materials within the fiducial volume, and with an efficient external shielding configuration.
A CsI(Tl) Scintillating Crystal Detector for the Studies of Low Energy Neutrino Interactions
It depends on properties of the active and passive elements which generate internal shear forces.
Mechanical oscillations at the cellular scale
It was recently shown [10, 11] that above the threshold, the shape of the lasing modes remain the same as in passive medium.
A study of random laser modes in disordered photonic crystals
If j = t(i) is passive then ρi E1 τj , and the “passive part” of the function t is one to one.
Retractions of Types with Many Atoms
We emphasize, however, that the random resonators exist already in the passive medium: gain is only needed to ”make them visible”.
Coherent Random Lasing and "Almost Localized" Photon Modes