Pas"sive (?), a. [L. passivus:
cf. F. passif. See Passion.] 1. Not
active, but acted upon; suffering or receiving impressions or
influences; as, they were passive spectators, not actors in the
The passive air Milton.
Upbore their nimble tread.
The mind is wholly passive in the reception of
all its simple ideas. Locke.
2. Receiving or enduring without either active
sympathy or active resistance; without emotion or excitement; patient;
not opposing; unresisting; as, passive obedience;
The best virtue, passive fortitude.
3. (Chem.) Inactive; inert; not showing
strong affinity; as, red phosphorus is comparatively
4. (Med.) Designating certain morbid
conditions, as hemorrhage or dropsy, characterized by relaxation of
the vessels and tissues, with deficient vitality and lack of reaction
in the affected tissues.
Passive congestion (Med.), congestion
due to obstruction to the return of the blood from the affected
part. -- Passive iron (Chem.), iron
which has been subjected to the action of heat, of strong nitric acid,
chlorine, etc. It is then not easily acted upon by acids. --
Passive movement (Med.), a movement of a
part, in order to exercise it, made without the assistance of the
muscles which ordinarily move the part. -- Passive
obedience (as used by writers on government), obedience
or submission of the subject or citizen as a duty in all cases to the
existing government. -- Passive prayer,
among mystic divines, a suspension of the activity of the soul or
intellectual faculties, the soul remaining quiet, and yielding only to
the impulses of grace. -- Passive verb, or
Passive voice (Gram.), a verb, or form of
a verb, which expresses the effect of the action of some agent; as, in
Latin, doceor, I am taught; in English, she is loved;
the picture is admired by all; he is assailed by
Syn. -- Inactive; inert; quiescent; unresisting; unopposing;
suffering; enduring; submissive; patient.