• WordNet 3.6
    • n passivity the trait of remaining inactive; a lack of initiative
    • n passivity submission to others or to outside influences
    • ***
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.
    • Passivity Passiveness; -- opposed to activity.
    • Passivity (Chem) The quality or condition of any substance which has no inclination to chemical activity; inactivity.
    • Passivity (Physics) The tendency of a body to remain in a given state, either of motion or rest, till disturbed by another body; inertia.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • passivity Same as passiveness.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Passivity inactivity: patience: tendency of a body to preserve a given state, either of motion or of rest
    • ***


  • 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
Cf. F. passivité,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. passivuspati, suffer.


In literature:

The sight of her nurse, passive in despair, restored to the girl a portion of her previous spirit.
"Atlantic Monthly, Volume 6, No. 38, December, 1860" by Various
They were merely passive, absolutely passive.
"Where the Trail Divides" by Will Lillibridge
He is passive when subject to any action whatever, when he depicts an emotion.
"Delsarte System of Oratory" by Various
They had not yet learned that there were many roads to Richmond, and that a passive defence is no safeguard against a persevering foe.
"Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War" by G. F. R. Henderson
Raise your left hand, held in his right hand, to your forehead; then close your eyes and remain passive a few moments.
"Clairvoyance and Occult Powers" by Swami Panchadasi
Shall we stand that passively?
"Port O' Gold" by Louis John Stellman
The passive mass obeyed the vague motions of space.
"The Man Who Laughs" by Victor Hugo
Appreciation is an attitude of mind which is passive, contemplative.
"How to Teach" by George Drayton Strayer and Naomi Norsworthy
They did; or rather Fritzing did, while Priscilla stood passive.
"The Princess Priscilla's Fortnight" by Elizabeth von Arnim
Antonyms: inactive, passive, latent, quiescent, sedentary.
"Putnam's Word Book" by Louis A. Flemming

In poetry:

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
Have and hold, then and there,
Her, from head to foot,
Breathing and mute,
Passive and yet aware,
In the grasp of my steady stare—-
"Mesmerism" by Robert Browning
These weary hours will not be lost,
These days of passive misery,
These nights of darkness anguish tost
If I can fix my heart on Thee.
"Last Lines" by Anne Bronte
To be a passive part of all
That rounds Heaven's universal plan,
Of things that soar, of things that crawl,
Of mindless matter, as of man.
"The Silent Muse" by Alfred Austin
Patience linked with patriotism,
Justice added to kindliness,
Uncompromising devotion to this Country,
And active, not passive, Americanism.
"An American Creed" by Everard Jack Appleton

In news:

Just ask to ride because your "Passively protesting the cancellation of the ride free zone ".
In Marie Antoinette's court, women were not shrinking violets, passively hiding in the royal shadows.
Too many of us sat passively way back when the deciders were outsourcing our jobs to underdeveloped places halfway around the world.
Activists on the left and right are outpolling the passive.
When the Egyptians began to design buildings with passive air conditioning.
No more tip-toeing around the obvious -- the Republican ticket, and Karl Rove especially, ran a woeful, passive campaign.
He says that Beta 's backers, or limited partners, are all individuals from the New England region, but they will be passive investors.
GREEN ENERGY, CONSTRUCTION: Designing dormitories to promote sustainability, using passive solar, thermal or photovoltaic solar energy.
In Twilight 's first four movies, Bella (Kristen Stewart) was a mopey, passive, lower-lip biting wallflower.
Passive railroad thieves don't exactly commit the great train robbery.
Passive Obama Debate Performance 'a Case Study in What Not to Do'.
Passive House NW is taking part in the 9th annual International Passive House Days this weekend.
Passive electronically scanned array.
Improve passive range of motion.
Our list highlights the best passively managed funds for long-term investors.

In science:

On the scale ∆Ω & ∆Ω, the passive distribution p (∆ω ) is irrelevant for P (∆Ω), because the passive modes corresponding to k = 1, 2 are not the nearest neighbors.
Spacing statistics in two-mode random lasing
For small γ , the repulsion of lasing frequencies is guaranteed by the Wigner repulsion of the passive modes.
Spacing statistics in two-mode random lasing
The lasing modes are likely to emerge from the passive nearest neighbors.
Spacing statistics in two-mode random lasing
The spacing distribution for the first two lasing modes depends on the relation between the gain-profile width and the mean spacing of the passive-cavity modes.
Spacing statistics in two-mode random lasing
For a very wide gain profile, the passive-spacing statistics is irrelevant, except for very small spacings.
Spacing statistics in two-mode random lasing