Not active, but acted upon; suffering or receiving impressions or influences; as, they were passive spectators, not actors in the scene.
- Receiving or subjected to an action without responding or initiating an action in return: the mind viewed as a passive receptacle for sensory experience. See Synonyms at inactive.
- Accepting or submitting without objection or resistance; submissive: a passive acceptance of one's fate.
- 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” ( U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). "[Many parents believe] that computers are educational and, at the least, less passive than television” ( Tamar Lewin).
- Of, relating to, or being certain bonds or shares that do not bear financial interest.
- Of, relating to, or being a solar heating or cooling system that uses no external mechanical power.
- 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.
- Chemistry Unreactive except under special or extreme conditions; inert.
- Electronics Exhibiting no gain or contributing no energy: a passive circuit element.
- Psychology Relating to or characteristic of an inactive or submissive role in a relationship, especially a sexual relationship.
- Grammar The passive voice.
- Grammar A verb or construction in the passive voice.
- One that is submissive or inactive. Often used in the plural: "And the rest of us, we passives of the world, proceeded . . . as if nothing untoward had happened” ( Martin Gottfried).