Ac"tive (?), a. [F. actif, L.
activus, fr. agere to act.] 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.
2. Quick in physical movement; of an agile and
vigorous body; nimble; as, an active child or animal.
Active and nervous was his gait.
3. In action; actually proceeding; working; in
force; -- opposed to quiescent, dormant, or extinct;
as, active laws; active hostilities; an active
4. 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.
5. Requiring or implying action or exertion; --
opposed to sedentary or to tranquil; as, active
employment or service; active scenes.
6. Given to action rather than contemplation;
practical; operative; -- opposed to speculative or
theoretical; as, an active rather than a speculative
7. Brisk; lively; as, an active demand for
8. Implying or producing rapid action; as, an
active disease; an active remedy.
9. (Gram.) (a) Applied to a
form of the verb; -- opposed to passive. See Active voice,
under Voice. (b) Applied to verbs which
assert that the subject acts upon or affects something else;
transitive. (c) Applied to all verbs that
express action as distinct from mere existence or state.
Active capital, Active wealth,
money, or property that may readily be converted into money.
Syn. -- Agile; alert; brisk; vigorous; nimble; lively; quick;
sprightly; prompt; energetic.