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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Comparison of usage frequency between the adjective active and its most common antonym:

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Definition of the adjective active

What does active mean as an attribute of a noun?

adjective - degrees: more active / most active

  1. tending to become more severe or wider in scope
  2. engaged in or ready for military or naval operations
  3. disposed to take action or effectuate change
  4. taking part in an activity
    • examples: an active member of the club | he was politically active
    • synonym of active: participating
    • similar: involved
  5. characterized by energetic activity
  6. exerting influence or producing a change or effect
  7. full of activity or engaged in continuous activity
  8. in operation
  9. (of the sun) characterized by an increased occurrence of sunspots and flares and radio emissions
  10. expressing that the subject of the sentence has the semantic function of actor:
    • example: Hemingway favors active constructions
    • domain: grammar
    • antonym: passive
  11. (used of verbs (e.g. `to run') and participial adjectives (e.g. `running' in `running water')) expressing action rather than a state of being
  12. (of e.g. volcanos) capable of erupting
  13. (of e.g. volcanos) erupting or liable to erupt
  14. engaged in full-time work
    • examples: active duty | though past retirement age he is still active in his profession
    • antonym: inactive
    • similar: activated

Alternative definition of the adjective active


  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.
    • Quick in physical movement; of an agile and vigorous body; nimble; as, an active child or animal.
    • In action; actually proceeding; working; in force; — opposed to quiescent, dormant, or extinct.
    • [context: specifically, of a volcano] Being an active volcano.
    • 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.
    • Requiring or implying action or exertion; — opposed to sedentary or to tranquil; as, active employment or service; active scenes.
    • Given to action rather than contemplation; practical; operative; — opposed to speculative or theoretical; as, an active rather than a speculative statesman.
      • Brisk; lively; as, an active demand for corn.
        • Implying or producing rapid action.
        • [grammar] Applied to a form of the verb; — opposed to passive. See active voice.
        • [grammar] Applied to verbs which assert that the subject acts upon or affects something else; transitive.
        • [grammar] Applied to all verbs that express action as distinct from mere existence or state.
        • [gay sexual slang] [of a homosexual man] enjoying a role in anal sex in which he penetrates, rather than being penetrated by his partner
        • [gay sexual slang] such a role in anal sex

        Specialised definition of the adjective active

        Glossary of sports

        high level of (physical) involvement in one or more areas of sport. An example of being active is to participate in competitions (competitive sport) in contrast to passive behaviour. To be actively involved in recreational and competitive sport often requires an active membership in a sport club. (Herbert Haag & Gerald Haag. 2003. Dictionary. Sport, Physical Education, Sport Science. Kiel, Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaften)

        Definition of the noun active

        What does active mean as a name of something?

        noun - plural: actives

        1. chemical agent capable of activity
        2. the voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is performing the action or causing the happening denoted by the verb
          • example: `The boy threw the ball' uses the active voice
          • lexical domain: Relations - nouns denoting relations between people or things or ideas
          • synonym of active: active voice
          • more generic word: voice = the grammatical relation (active or passive) of the grammatical subject of a verb to the action that the verb denotes
        3. a person who is a participating member of an organization

        Alternative definition of the noun active


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

        Specialised definition of the noun active

        Glossary of sports

        lively and energetic (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

        having an effect on a patient. (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

        having a medicinal effect (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)


        Active is a record label.


        1. "Active" is the 22nd album by the jazz fusion group Casiopea recorded and released in 1992. The album was recorded in Australia, Also where Casiopea's Live Album "Made in Melbourne" was recorded.
          • genre: Jazz fusion
          • released on (23 years ago)
        2. "Active" is a musical EP of Johan Bacto.
          • released in (13 years ago)
        3. "Active" is a composition.
        4. "Active" is a composition.


        1. Active is a breed temperament.
        2. Active is a top level domain status, website status.
        3. ACTIVE - sobriety, friendship and peace is a non-governmental umbrella organisation gathering European youth temperance organisations. ACTIVE is member of the Youth Forum Jeunesse and cooperates with IOGT International.
        4. The Active was a ship that disappeared in the Tasman Sea in 1810.
        5. The Active was a wooden ketch that was wrecked on the Oyster bank at the entrance of Newcastle Harbour, New South Wales, near the previously wrecked Colonist on 19 January 1898 while carrying a cargo of ironbark to Morpeth, New South Wales under the command of Captain P. Williams. There were no casualties but the ship was lost. The wreck has not been located, but the approximate co-ordinates of the shipwreck are 32°55′S 151°47′E / 32.92°S 151.79°E.
        6. Active was a convict ship dispatched in 1791 from England to Australia. She was built in 1764 at Shoreham, England for Calvert & Co. She served in the East India Company from 1791 until 1793. Whilst still in service of the East India Company, under the command of Master John Michinson, she departed Portsmouth on 27 March 1791, with 175 male convicts as part of the third fleet and arrived on 26 September 1791 in Port Jackson, New South Wales. Twenty-one convicts died during the voyage.
        7. The Active was a ketch that was wrecked at the entrance of the Hunter River in New South Wales on 18 February 1852.
        8. Active: An Active is a person that has had their personality wiped so they can be imprinted with new personalities.
          • also known as Doll
        9. Active is a ship.
        10. Active is a data task status.

        Phrases with Active

        Phrases starting with the word Active:

        1. Active duty
        2. active site
        3. active agent
        4. active birth
        5. Active fault
        6. Active Front
        7. Active Power
        8. active trust
        9. active voice
        10. Active Couple
        11. Active Galaxy
        12. Active matrix
        13. active citizen
        14. active placebo
        15. Active Volcano
        16. active immunity
        17. Active Dry Yeast
        18. Active listening

        Phrases ending with the word Active:

        1. be active
        2. surface-active

        View more phrases with the word Active in thesaurus!

        Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Active

        Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

        Google previewABC's of Bumps & Bruises, a Guide to Home & Herbal Remedies for Children (2008)

        by Theresa Roberts

        Being active also means watching less TV and playing fewer video games. Eating healthy is another part of staying fit. Aim to eat a variety of foods and get five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Choose water and low-fat milk over soda ...

        Google previewBe Better: First 100 Lessons (2014)

        by Graeme Partington

        Being active means allowing your body to "practice" breathing, stretching, and lifting. And the more practice of these things your body gets, the better your body will work. Think about practicing in these three areas: 1) Aerobic activity walking, ...

        Google previewWhen Parents Part (2015)

        How Mothers and Fathers Can Help Their Children Deal with Separation and Divorce by Penelope Leach

        Being active means taking a full part in planning and making arrangements for the children and then sticking to them—cheerfully. Being proactive means finding different ways of having good times with the children and being alert to any ...

        Google previewHuman Development: A Life-Span View (2012)

        by Robert Kail, John Cavanaugh

        For some people, being active means being employed, either part- or full-time. Employment may be a financial necessity for people without sufficient means to make ends meet, especially for those whose entire income would consist only of ...

        Google previewDictionary of Military Terms and Acronyms (2011)

        by Us Department Of Defense

        activation — Order to active duty (other than for training) in the federal service. See also active duty; federal service. (JP 4-05) active air defense — Direct defensive action taken to destroy, nullify, or reduce the effectiveness of hostile ...

        Google previewComputer Technology Encyclopedia (2008)

        by Michael Graves

        An active hub acts like a repeater in this respect. This is different from a traditional hub, which does nothing to clean up or amplify the signal. Most modern networks make use of switches wherever possible because a switch provides each ...

        Google previewDepartment of Defense dictionary of military and associated terms (Online)

        activation — Order to active duty (other than for training) in the Federal service. See also active duty; federal service. (JP 4-05) activation detector — (*) A device used to determine neutron flux or density by virtue of the radioactivity ...

        Google previewThe Encyclopaedia of Sports Medicine: An IOC Medical Commission Publication, Biomechanics in Sport: Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention (2008)

        by V. Zatsiorsky

        While passive drag certainly depends upon body size and shape, active drag has been regarded as a function of the movements as well as a function of the anthropometry and mechanical properties of a rigid core body. Experimental studies ...

        Google previewEncyclopedia of Nursing Research, Third Edition (2011)

        by Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN, Meredith Kazer, PhD, APRN, A/GNP-BC

        in addition, they have also defined a group at very low risk and recommend that these men with a life expectancy of less than 20 years only receive active surveillance. These guidelines use life expectancy as an important ...

        Google previewEncyclopedia of Information Technology Curriculum Integration (2008)

        by Tomei, Lawrence A.

        Moti Frank Holon Institute of Technology, Israel IntroductIon This chapter discusses active learning and its implementation for teaching. Although active learning is a general term in education, the focus of this chapter is on technological ...

        Google previewInternational Encyclopedia of Linguistics (2003)

        Active language use. National language. Chuukese: also called Chuuk, Truk, Trukese, Ruk, Lagoon Chuukese. 38,341 speakers in Micronesia and Guam. In Micronesia: Chuuk Lagoon, Caroline Islands, some on Pohnpei.

        Google previewDictionary of Computer Science, Engineering and Technology (2000)

        by Philip A. Laplante

        active object acquirer an organization that acquires or procures a system, product , or service from a supplier. The acquirer could be one of the following: buyer, customer, owner, user, purchaser. acquisition (1) the process of obtaining a system ...

        Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Active

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        Photos about Active

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        If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
        Small photo of Young slim girl stand up on paddle Board in turquoise sea . Thailand ,water sports , active lifestyleSmall photo of Marathon run shoe. Outdoor workout. Sport athlete, runner training. Athletic fitness exercise. Young yogger leg, fit. Healthy lifestyle. Active people wellbeing.Small photo of Active Senior CoupleSmall photo of Active healthy man hiking in Alpine mountainsSmall photo of Active lifestyle runner jogging on park sidewalk. Banner panorama crop of lower body of athletes legs running in summer background.Small photo of Active sporty woman run along ocean surf by water pool to keep fit and health. Sunset black sand beach background with sun. Woman fitness, jogging workout and sport activity on summer family holiday.Small photo of Lazy or Active? Active. More...

        Video language resources about Active

        Click on an item to play that video:

        View more videos about Active duty, Active fault, Active Power, Active voice, Active Volcano, Active Dry Yeast, Active listening, Optically Active, and Active Vocabulary.

        See also the pronunciation examples of Active!

        Sign language

        ACTIVE SIGN LANGUAGE- Department of Inernational Trade, TKU

        Duration 02:17

        Dancing movie- May,2008.

        Quotes about Active

        Berkeley had a liberal element in the student body who tended to be quite active. I think that's in general a feature of intellectually active places. (John Searle)
        more quotes about active...

        Scrabble value of A1C3T1I1V4E1

        The value of this 6-letter word is 11 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

        Anagrams of ACTIVE

        What do you get if you rearrange the letters?

        See also the blanagrams of Active!

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