Pronunciation: (ak'tiv),[key] —adj. 1. engaged in action; characterized by energetic work, participation, etc.; busy: an active life. 2. being in a state of existence, progress, or motion: active hostilities. 3. involving physical effort and action: active sports. 4. having the power of quick motion; nimble: active as a gazelle. 5. characterized by action, motion, volume, use, participation, etc.: an active market in wheat; an active list of subscribers. 6. causing activity or change; capable of exerting influence (opposed to passive): active treason. 7. effective (opposed to inert): active ingredients. 8. Gram.noting or pertaining to a voice of verbal inflection in which typically the subject of the sentence is represented as performing the action expressed by the verb (opposed to passive): Writes in He writes a letter every day is an active verb form.
9. requiring or giving rise to action; practical: an active course. 10. (of a volcano) in eruption.
11. Accounting.profitable; busy: active accounts. 12. requiring personal effort or attention; not automatic: an active alarm system. 13. interest-bearing: active paper. 14. Med.acting quickly; producing immediate effects: active remedies. 15. Sociol.(of a crowd) engaging in purposeful activity, often of a militant nature. Cf. expressive (def. 4).
16. Aerospace.able to transmit signals: an active communications satellite. 17. Electronics.(of a device or system) acting as a source of electrical energy, as a generator, or capable of amplifying or converting voltages or currents, as a transistor or diode.
18. (of a solar heating system) accumulating and distributing solar heat by mechanical means.
19. Mil.serving on active duty.
—n. 1. Gram. a. the active voice.
b. a form or construction in the active voice.
2. an active person, member, subscriber, etc.: The circular was mailed only to the actives on our list. 3. Informal.something showing considerable action or activity: On the stock market there was heavy trading in the actives.