—adj. 1. expressing or containing negation or denial: a negative response to the question. 2. refusing consent, as to a proposal: a negative reply to my request. 3. expressing refusal to do something: He maintained a negative attitude about cooperating. 4. prohibitory, as a command or order.
5. characterized by the absence of distinguishing or marked qualities or features; lacking positive attributes (opposed to positive): a dull, lifeless, negative character. 6. lacking in constructiveness, helpfulness, optimism, cooperativeness, or the like: a man of negative viewpoint. 7. being without rewards, results, or effectiveness: a search of the premises proved negative. 8. Math.,Physics. a. involving or noting subtraction; minus.
b. measured or proceeding in the direction opposite to that which is considered as positive.
9. Photog.noting an image in which the brightness values of the subject are reproduced so that the lightest areas are shown as the darkest.
10. Elect. a. of, pertaining to, or characterized by negative electricity.
b. indicating a point in a circuit that has a lower potential than that of another point, the current flowing from the point of higher potential to the point of lower potential.
11. Med.failing to show a positive result in a test for a specific disease caused by either bacteria or viruses.
12. Chem.(of an element or group) tending to gain electrons and become negatively charged; acid.
13. Physiol.responding in a direction away from the stimulus.
14. of, pertaining to, or noting the south pole of a magnet.
15. Logic.(of a proposition) denying the truth of the predicate with regard to the subject.
—n. 1. a negative statement, answer, word, gesture, etc.: The ship signaled back a negative. 2. a refusal of assent: to answer a request with a negative. 3. the negative form of statement.
4. a person or number of persons arguing against a resolution, statement, etc., esp. a team upholding the negative side in a formal debate.
5. a negative quality or characteristic.
6. disadvantage; drawback: The plan is generally brilliant, but it has one or two negatives. 7. Math. a. a minus sign.
b. a negative quantity or symbol.
8. Photog.a negative image, as on a film, used chiefly for making positives.
9. Elect.the negative plate or element in a voltaic cell.
10. Archaic.a veto, or right of veto: The delegation may exercise its negative. 11. in the negative, in the form of a negative response, as a refusal, denial, or disagreement; no: The reply, when it finally came, was in the negative.
—adv. (used to indicate a negative response): “You won't come with us?” “Negative.”
—v.t. 1. to deny; contradict.
2. to refute or disprove (something).
3. to refuse assent or consent to; veto.
4. to neutralize or counteract.
—interj. (used to indicate disagreement, denial of permission, etc.): Negative, pilot—complete your mission as directed.