What is the meaning of 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.
    • usage: "`The ball was thrown by the boy' uses the passive voice"; "`The ball was thrown' is an abbreviated 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
  • Peacefully resistant in response to injustice.
    • usage: "passive resistance"
  • Expressing that the subject of the sentence is the patient of the action denoted by the verb.
    • usage: "academics seem to favor passive sentences"
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APAWordNet. (2010). passive. Retrieved September 25, 2017, from http://smartdefine.org/passive/definitions/1180414
ChicagoWordNet. 2010. "passive" http://smartdefine.org/passive/definitions/1180414 (accessed September 25, 2017).
HarvardWordNet 2010, passive, Smart Define, viewed 25 September, 2017, <http://smartdefine.org/passive/definitions/1180414>.
MLAWordNet. "passive" 23 October 2010. Web. 25 September 2017. <http://smartdefine.org/passive/definitions/1180414>
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