A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1461

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1461

Pa'ssive. adj. [passif, French; passivus, Latin.]

  1. Receiving impression from some external agent.

                    High above the ground
    Their march was, and the passive air upbore
    Their nimble tread.
    Milton's Paradise Lost.

    The active informations of the intellect, filling the passive reception of the will, like form closing with matter, grew actuate into a third and distinct perfection of practice. South.

    As the mind is wholly passive in the reception of all its simple ideas, so it exerts several acts of its own, whereby, out of its simple ideas, the other is formed. Locke.

    The vis inertiæ is a passive principle by which bodies persist in their motion or rest, receive motion in proportion to the force impressing it, and resist as much as they are resisted: by this principle alone, there never could have been any motion in the world. Newton's Optics.

  2. Unresisting; not opposing.

    Not those alone, who passive own her laws,
    But who, weak rebels, more advance her cause.

  3. Suffering; not acting.

  4. [In grammar.]

    A verb passive is that which signififes passion or the effect of action: as doceor, I am taught. Clarke's Lat. Gram.

Sources: Butler, Samuel (98) · Clarke, John (7) · Locke, John (269) · Milton, John (449) · Newton, Isaac (40) · South, Robert (158)

Attributes: Adjective (426) · French (385) · Latin (690)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Passive." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 25, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/passive/.

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