Etymology: Middle English, from Latin passivus, from passus, past participle
Date: 14th century
(1) acted upon by an external agency
(2) receptive to outside impressions or influences
(1) asserting that the grammatical subject of a verb is subjected to or affected by the action represented by that verb <the passive voice> (2) containing or yielding a passive verb form c. (1) lacking in energy or will ; lethargic (2) tending not to take an active or dominant part d. induced by an outside agency <passive exercise of a paralyzed leg> 2. a. not active or operating ; inert b. of, relating to, or making direct use of the sun's heat usually without the intervention of mechanical devices <a passive solar house> c. latent d. (1) of, relating to, or characterized by a state of chemical inactivity; especially resistant to corrosion (2) not involving expenditure of chemical energy <passive transport across a cell membrane> e. of an electronic element exhibiting no gain or control f. relating to the detection of an object through its emission of energy or sound <passive sonar> 3. a. receiving or enduring without resistance ; submissive b. existing or occurring without being active, open, or direct <passive support> 4. of, relating to, or being business activity in which the investor does not actively participate in the generation of income Synonyms: see inactive • passively adverb • passiveness noun • passivity noun II. noun Date: 1530 1. a passive verb form 2. the passive voice of a language
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.