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From Middle French, Old French passif, from Latin passivus (serving to express the suffering of an action; in late Latin literally capable of suffering or feeling), from passus, past participle of pati (to suffer); compare patient.


  • (UK, US) enPR: păsʹ-ĭv, IPA(key): /ˈpæs.ɪv/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æsɪv
  • Hyphenation: pas‧sive


passive (comparative more passive, superlative most passive)

Examples (being in the passive voice)

The passive form of “A meteorite hit the earth” is “The earth was hit by a meteorite.”

  1. Being subjected to an action without producing a reaction.
  2. Taking no action.
    He remained passive during the protest.
  3. (grammar) Being in the passive voice.
  4. (psychology) Being inactive and submissive in a relationship, especially in a sexual one.
  5. (finance) Not participating in management.
  6. (aviation) Without motive power.
    a passive balloon; a passive aeroplane; passive flight, such as gliding and soaring
  7. (electronics) Of a component: that consumes but does not produce energy, or is incapable of power gain.
    Antonym: active



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.


passive (plural passives)

  1. (grammar) The passive voice of verbs.
  2. (grammar) A form of a verb that is in the passive voice.
  3. (marketing) A customer who is satisfied with a product or service, but not keen enough to promote it by word of mouth.
    • 2014, Roy Barnes, ‎Bob Kelleher, Customer Experience For Dummies (page 266)
      If you want to improve your organization's NPS, you need to follow up with your detractors, passives, and promoters to understand why they answered your question as they did and what you can do better in the future.
  4. (electronics) Any component that consumes but does not produce energy, or is incapable of power gain.
    • 2001, The Virginia Engineer (volume 50, page 20)
      Reductions In Both Size And Weight Offered By Integrated Passives
      You may not know it yet, but if you're like most consumers, you want integrated passives.
    • 2010, Sridhar Canumalla, ‎Puligandla Viswanadham, Portable Consumer Electronics: Packaging, Materials, and Reliability
      The components include active devices such as logic, memory, processors, etc.; passives such as capacitors, resistors, crystal oscillators, inductances, etc.; []


Further readingEdit






  • IPA(key): /pas.ˈ, [pas.siː.ve]
  • Hyphenation: pas‧sì‧ve


passive f pl

  1. feminine plural of passivo