The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Negative \Neg"a*tive\ (n[e^]g"[.a]*t[i^]v), a. [F. n['e]gatif,
L. negativus, fr. negare to deny. See Negation.]
1. Denying; implying, containing, or asserting denial,
negation or refusal; returning the answer no to an inquiry
or request; refusing assent; as, a negative answer; a
negative opinion; -- opposed to affirmative.
If thou wilt confess,
Or else be impudently negative. --Shak.
Denying me any power of a negative voice. --Eikon
Something between an affirmative bow and a negative
2. Not positive; without affirmative statement or
demonstration; indirect; consisting in the absence of
something; privative; as, a negative argument; negative
evidence; a negative morality; negative criticism.
There in another way of denying Christ, . . . which
is negative, when we do not acknowledge and confess
3. (Logic) Asserting absence of connection between a subject
and a predicate; as, a negative proposition.
4. (Photog.) Of or pertaining to a picture upon glass or
other material, in which the lights and shades of the
original, and the relations of right and left, are
5. (Chem.) Metalloidal; nonmetallic; -- contrasted with
positive or basic; as, the nitro group is negative.
Note: This word, derived from electro-negative, is now
commonly used in a more general sense, when acidiferous
is the intended signification.
(a) A cavity in a mineral mass, having the form of a
(b) A crystal which has the power of negative double
refraction. See refraction.
negative electricity (Elec.), the kind of electricity which
is developed upon resin or ebonite when rubbed, or which
appears at that pole of a voltaic battery which is
connected with the plate most attacked by the exciting
liquid; -- formerly called resinous electricity. Opposed
to positive electricity. Formerly, according to
Franklin's theory of a single electric fluid, negative
electricity was supposed to be electricity in a degree
below saturation, or the natural amount for a given body.
Negative eyepiece. (Opt.) see under Eyepiece.
Negative quantity (Alg.), a quantity preceded by the
negative sign, or which stands in the relation indicated
by this sign to some other quantity. See Negative sign
Negative rotation, right-handed rotation. See
Negative sign, the sign -, or minus (opposed in
signification to +, or plus), indicating that the
quantity to which it is prefixed is to be subtracted from
the preceding quantity, or is to be reckoned from zero or
cipher in the opposite direction to that of quanties
having the sign plus either expressed or understood; thus,
in a - b, b is to be substracted from a, or regarded as
opposite to it in value; and -10[deg] on a thermometer
means 10[deg] below the zero of the scale.