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1. Receiving or subjected to an action without responding or initiating an action in return: the mind viewed as a passive receptacle for sensory experience.
2. Accepting or submitting without objection or resistance; submissive: a passive acceptance of one's fate.
3. Existing, conducted, or experienced without active or concerted effort: "Although tick paralysis is a reportable disease in Washington, surveillance is passive, and only 10 cases were reported during 1987-1995" (US Department of Health and Human Services). "[Many parents believe] that computers are educational and, at the least, less passive than television" (Laurie Hays).
4. Of, relating to, or being certain bonds or shares that do not bear financial interest.
5. Of, relating to, or being a solar heating or cooling system that uses no external mechanical power.
6. Grammar Of, relating to, or being a verb form or voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject is the object of the action or the effect of the verb. For example, in the sentence They were impressed by his manner, were impressed is in the passive voice.
7. Chemistry Unreactive except under special or extreme conditions; inert.
8. Electronics Exhibiting no gain or contributing no energy: a passive circuit element.
9. Psychology Relating to or being an inactive or submissive role in a relationship, especially a sexual relationship.
n. Grammar
1. The passive voice.
2. A verb or construction in the passive voice.

[Middle English, from Old French passif, from Latin passīvus, subject to emotion, the passive, from passus, past participle of patī, to suffer; see pē(i)- in Indo-European roots.]

pas′sive·ly adv.
pas′sive·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.passiveness - submission to others or to outside influences
submissiveness - the trait of being willing to yield to the will of another person or a superior force etc.
2.passiveness - the trait of remaining inactivepassiveness - the trait of remaining inactive; a lack of initiative
inertia, inactiveness, inactivity - a disposition to remain inactive or inert; "he had to overcome his inertia and get back to work"
spiritlessness, numbness, apathy, indifference - the trait of lacking enthusiasm for or interest in things generally
torpidness, torpor, listlessness, torpidity - inactivity resulting from lethargy and lack of vigor or energy
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
عَدَم نَشاط، لا فاعليَّه
hlutleysi; aîgerîaleysi


[ˈpæsɪvnɪs] N passivity [pæˈsɪvɪtɪ] Npasividad f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


, passivity
nPassivität f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈpæsɪvnɪs] passivity [pæˈsɪvɪtɪ] npassività
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈpӕsiv) adjective
1. showing no interest, emotion etc, or not resisting an attack etc. The villagers showed passive resistance to the enemy
2. of the form of the verb used when the subject receives the action of the verb. The boy was bitten by the dog.
ˈpassively adverb
ˈpassiveness noun
pasˈsivity noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
Children have always a sympathy in the agitations of those connected with them: always, especially, a sense of any trouble or impending revolution, of whatever kind, in domestic circumstances; and therefore Pearl, who was the gem on her mother's unquiet bosom, betrayed, by the very dance of her spirits, the emotions which none could detect in the marble passiveness of Hester's brow.
However, this time, my tranquillity, or passiveness as philosophers say, proceeded from another source; it proceeded from a wish, like a submissive and devoted daughter" (a slight smile was observable on the purple lips of the young girl), "to practice obedience."
All passiveness and unconcern had dropped from them.
But a suppressed resolve will betray itself in the eyes, and Stephen became more and more uneasy as the day advanced, under the sense that Maggie had entirely lost her passiveness. He longed, but did not dare, to speak of their marriage, of where they would go after it, and the steps he would take to inform his father, and the rest, of what had happened.
But though the Lakeman had induced the seamen to adopt this sort of passiveness in their conduct, he kept his own counsel (at least till all was over) concerning his own proper and private revenge upon the man who had stung him in the ventricles of his heart.
Despite my passiveness in my early years in college, I can say my sense of bravery today has grown by leaps and bounds.
His following had dissipated in the thin air of political passiveness and nonchalance.
A few lawmakers from the treasury also raised a question about the 'passiveness' of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) legislators as they were expecting a noisy session.
Observers say the passiveness of the pro-solution powers like Akinci has left a vacuum
Similarly, the Senator condemned in strong terms the undue compromise that led to the emergence of a first timer as Minority Leader against the international best practice, passiveness in the approval of two unqualified nominees out of the 37 nominees for the Ministerial positions despite reaching a consensus that they were not qualified.
Unscrupulous businesses who count on the ignorance or passiveness of individuals are likely to pay a heavy price for that cynical attitude to personal data security and protection.
Detecting Athens' passiveness, Ankara moved smartly a fortnight ago and submitted its own coordinates putting claim to maritime areas within the Cyprus and Greece EEZs, in order to justify the Turkish moves to drill within Cypriot waters that it disputes.