Open main menu
See also: activé




From Middle English actif, from Old French actif, from Latin activus, from agere (to do, to act); see act.


  • IPA(key): /ˈæk.tɪv/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æktɪv


active (comparative more active, superlative most active)

  1. Having the power or quality of acting; causing change; communicating action or motion; acting;—opposed to passive, that receives.
    certain active principles
    the active powers of the mind
    Synonym: acting
    Antonym: passive
  2. Quick in physical movement; of an agile and vigorous body; nimble.
    an active child or animal
    Synonyms: agile, nimble
    Antonyms: passive, indolent, still
  3. In action; actually proceeding; working; in force
    active laws
    active hostilities
    Synonyms: in action, working, in force
    Antonyms: quiescent, dormant, extinct
    1. (specifically, of a volcano) Being an active volcano. Compare extinct and dormant
  4. Given to action; constantly engaged in action; energetic; diligent; busy
    an active man of business
    active mind
    active zeal
    Antonyms: dull, sluggish, indolent, inert
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314, page 0108:
      This new-comer was a man who in any company would have seemed striking. [] He was smooth-faced, and his fresh skin and well-developed figure bespoke the man in good physical condition through active exercise, yet well content with the world's apportionment.
    Synonyms: busy, deedful, diligent, energetic
  5. Requiring or implying action or exertion
    active employment or service
    active scenes
    Synonym: operative
    Antonyms: passive, tranquil, sedentary
  6. Given to action rather than contemplation; practical; operative
    an active rather than a speculative statesman
    Antonyms: theoretical, speculative
  7. Brisk; lively.
    an active demand for corn
  8. Implying or producing rapid action.
    an active disease
    an active remedy
    Antonyms: passive, slow
  9. (heading, grammar) About verbs.
    1. Applied to a form of the verb; — opposed to passive. See active voice.
    2. Applied to verbs which assert that the subject acts upon or affects something else; transitive.
    3. Applied to all verbs that express action as distinct from mere existence or state.
  10. (computing, of source code) Capable of being processed by a compiler or interpreter.
    • 2006 December 24, David Williams, “satellite program”, in comp.lang.basic.visual.misc, Usenet[1]:
      I think it should be upgraded to Visual BASIC, but I'm no good at that. So maybe someone here would like to take a crack at it. There are only 40 lines of active code, plus a few REMs. About 100 BASIC commands altogether.
    • 2012, Chris Grover, “Triggering Actions”, in Adobe Edge Preview 5: The Missing Manual, 3rd edition, Sebastopol: O'Reilly Media, →ISBN, page 98:
      Edge uses green text for comments. This makes it easier for you to quickly differentiate between active code and comments.
  11. (gay sexual slang) (of a homosexual man) enjoying a role in anal sex in which he penetrates, rather than being penetrated by his partner.
    Synonym: top
    Antonyms: passive, bottom


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit


active (plural actives)

  1. A person or thing that is acting or capable of acting.

Further readingEdit





Alternative formsEdit

Etymology 1Edit

Borrowed from Latin āctīvē.



  1. (grammar, obsolete) actively

Etymology 2Edit



  1. inflection of activ:
    1. strong and mixed nominative and accusative feminine singular
    2. strong nominative and accusative plural
    3. weak nominative all-gender singular
    4. weak accusative feminine and neuter singular



active (not comparable)

  1. active

Related termsEdit



āctīvē (comparative āctīvius, superlative āctīvissimē)

  1. (grammar) actively



  1. vocative masculine singular of āctīvus


  • active in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • active in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[2], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • (ambiguous) to put the finishing touch to a work: extrema manus accēdit operi (active extremam manum imponere operi)
    • (ambiguous) to be some one's favourite: in amore et deliciis esse alicui (active in deliciis habere aliquem)




  1. first-person singular (eu) present subjunctive of activar
  2. third-person singular (ele and ela, also used with você and others) present subjunctive of activar
  3. third-person singular (você) affirmative imperative of activar
  4. third-person singular (você) negative imperative of activar





  1. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of activar.
  2. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of activar.
  3. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of activar.