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active Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun chemical agent capable of activity
    active agent.
  2. noun the voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is performing the action or causing the happening denoted by the verb
    active voice.
    • `The boy threw the ball' uses the active voice
  3. noun a person who is a participating member of an organization
    • the club issues a list of members, both the actives and the retirees
  4. adjective tending to become more severe or wider in scope
    • active tuberculosis
  5. adjective satellite engaged in or ready for military or naval operations
    fighting; combat-ready.
    • on active duty
    • the platoon is combat-ready
    • review the fighting forces
  6. adjective disposed to take action or effectuate change
    • a director who takes an active interest in corporate operations
    • an active antagonism
    • he was active in drawing attention to their grievances
  7. adjective satellite taking part in an activity
    • an active member of the club
    • he was politically active
    • the participating organizations
  8. adjective characterized by energetic activity
    • an active toddler
    • active as a gazelle
    • an active man is a man of action
  9. adjective exerting influence or producing a change or effect
    • an active ingredient
  10. adjective full of activity or engaged in continuous activity
    • an active seaport
    • an active bond market
    • an active account
  11. adjective satellite in operation
    • keep hope alive
    • the tradition was still alive
    • an active tradition
  12. adjective (of the sun) characterized by an increased occurrence of sunspots and flares and radio emissions
  13. adjective expressing that the subject of the sentence has the semantic function of actor: "Hemingway favors active constructions"
  14. adjective (used of verbs (e.g. `to run') and participial adjectives (e.g. `running' in `running water')) expressing action rather than a state of being
  15. adjective (of e.g. volcanos) capable of erupting
  16. adjective (of e.g. volcanos) erupting or liable to erupt
    • active volcanos
  17. adjective engaged in full-time work
    • active duty
    • though past retirement age he is still active in his profession

Ac"tive adjective
F. actif, L. activus, fr. agere to act.
  1. Having the power or quality of acting; causing change; communicating action or motion; acting; -- opposed to passive, that receives; as, certain active principles; the powers of the mind.
  2. Quick in physical movement; of an agile and vigorous body; nimble; as, an active child or animal.
    Active and nervous was his gait. Wordsworth.
  3. In action; actually proceeding; working; in force; -- opposed to quiescent, dormant, or extinct; as, active laws; active hostilities; an active volcano.
  4. Given to action; constantly engaged in action; energetic; diligent; busy; -- opposed to dull, sluggish, indolent, or inert; as, an active man of business; active mind; active zeal.
  5. Requiring or implying action or exertion; -- opposed to sedentary or to tranquil; as, active employment or service; active scenes.
  6. Given to action rather than contemplation; practical; operative; -- opposed to speculative or theoretical; as, an active rather than a speculative statesman.
  7. Brisk; lively; as, an active demand for corn.
  8. Implying or producing rapid action; as, an active disease; an active remedy.
  9. (Gram.) (a) Applied to a form of the verb; -- opposed to passive. See Active voice, under Voice. (b) Applied to verbs which assert that the subject acts upon or affects something else; transitive. (c) Applied to all verbs that express action as distinct from mere existence or state. Syn. -- Agile; alert; brisk; vigorous; nimble; lively; quick; sprightly; prompt; energetic.

Webster 1913