active, adj. and n.
, ME actiffe
, ME actijf
, ME actyffe
, ME actyfy
, ME–15 actyf
, ME–15 actyfe
, ME–15 actyff
, ME–15 actyue
, ME–15 actyve
, ME–16 actif
, ME–16 actife
, ME–16 actiue
, ME– active
, pre-17 actiue
, pre-17 actyf
, pre-17 actyue
, pre-17 actyve
, pre-17 17– active
, 17 ackie
. (Show Less)
< Anglo-Norman and Middle French, French actif
(of a life or lifestyle) characterized by external acts of piety rather than by contemplation (1160 in Old French in vie active
), (of a person) fond of activity, busy, energetic (c
1370), (of a remedy) efficacious (1378), having the ability to act (14th cent.), (of a science) applied, practical (1400–3), (in grammar) active (as opposed to passive) (15th cent.), (of a debt) owed to a person (1549) and its etymon classical Latin āctīvus
practical, (in grammar) active, in post-classical Latin also given to outward action as opposed to contemplative (6th cent. in activa vita
active life), generating action (from 12th cent. in British sources) < āct-
, past participial stem of agere
to act (see ) + -īvus
. With use as noun compare Old French, Middle French actif
active voice (13th cent.), Anglo-Norman actif
man of action (2nd half of the 13th cent.), and also post-classical Latin activum
active verb (3rd cent.), element or quality of matter capable of acting upon something (1363 in Chauliac), use as noun (short for verbum activum
) of neuter of classical Latin āctīvus
(masculine) man of action (14th cent. in a British source), activa
(feminine) practical or moral philosophy (5th cent. in Augustine), active life (14th cent. in a British source, short for activa vita
). Compare Catalan actiu
(late 13th cent.), Spanish activo
(1335), Portuguese ativo
(15th cent. as actiuo
), Italian attivo
(late 13th cent.).
Compare the following early use of the Latin word (in sense ) in an English context:
OE Ælfric Gram.
(St. John's Oxf.)
Nu synd þa word gehatene Activa, þæt synd dædlice, þa ðe geendiað on o.
OE Ælfric Gram.
(St. John's Oxf.)
Ða word, þe synd passiva, beoð activa, gif se r byþ aweg gedon: armor ic eom gewæpnod, armo te ic wæpnige ðe.
OE Ælfric Gram.
(St. John's Oxf.)
Plecto ic gewitnige is Activvm.
after French moléculairement actif
(J. B. Biot 1840, in Ann. de chim. et de physique 74
A. adj. I.
†b. Of a discipline: practical, applied; empirical, experimental. Opposed to theoretical, speculative, or contemplative. Obs.
1605 Bacon ii. sig. Hh3v,
Which three parts active [sc. experimental, philosophical, magical] haue a correspondence and Analogie with the three parts specvlative.
1609 J. Dowland tr. A. Ornithoparchus 2
Active Musicke, which also they call Practick, is..the knowledge of singing well.
1670 T. Gale iii. vi. 278
He [sc. Ammonius] divides it [sc. Philosophie] first into..Theoretick, or Contemplative; and Practick, or Active.
1726 R. Blackmore Pref. p. xvi,
Learning is divided into contemplative and active.
1788 Gibbon V. lii. 429
Botany is an active science.
1809 M. A. Shee i. 41
When we..elevate the barren stores of inert erudition above the fruitful acquirements of active science and philosophy; we..labour under the influence of literary superstition.
1836 L. Cass 12
This is a law of our system, and extends its sway into all the departments of life, whether active or speculative. It belongs to literature, to science, and to the arts.
b. Stock Market. Of a security: actively traded.
1841 23 Aug.
The Shares of the Joint Stock Banking Companies have been rather more active.
1889 13 Dec. 11/1
London and South African Exploration were more active than most other securities and..closed at 26
1910 M. Rollins
Active Bonds. Securities which are frequently bought and sold; quoted daily, or nearly so, in the newspapers or reports of the various stock exchange transactions.
(Late City Final ed.)
American Express was active and up 1, to 60 ¾, after the stock was recommended by Morgan Stanley & Company.
2005 D. L. Scott iii. 63
Active Nasdaq stocks such as Nextel Communications, Starbucks, and Yahoo each have dozens of market makers that buy and sell the stock.
. Opposed to .
b. Of a bond: that begins accruing interest upon issue (see ). Cf. Now chiefly hist.
1834 26 Aug. 5/2
Every Cortes bondholder of 100l. will have 50 per cent. active stock, bearing interest at 5 per cent.
1874 R. L. Nash
1927 16 Jan. 21/2
A new loan of $46,335,000, which was divided into two classes of bonds; one half ‘active’, promising interest at 5 per cent from October, 1837, and the other half ‘deferred’.
1996 V. K. Aggarwal vii. 168
The 1870 proposal called for the conversion of the London debt bonds into new active bonds (which would immediately collect interest) and deferred bonds (which would collect interest in 10 years).
c. Of or designating a style of investment management that seeks to outperform the average returns for a given financial market by trading astutely on the basis of dedicated research.
1965 17 Sept. 8/2
It is not all that easy to beat the index... One [unit trust] that has is Hambro Abbey, which has risen by 22.5 per cent... The management is keen on active investment with a vigorous switching and ditching policy.
1977 9 Sept. 29/4
Batterymarch currently has about $925 million under management, nearly $600 million in its indexed accounts and the rest under active management.
21 Sept. 104
Instead of traditional ‘active’ portfolio management, in which managers seek undervalued bonds or try to forecast interest rates, institutions are setting up ‘passive’ portfolios based on one of the major bond indexes.
2003 J. Lam v. 84
Generally, active managers implement a strategy or system designed to exploit mispricing or to manage risk. The alternative is to use a passive strategy, such as investing in a market index.
b. In predicative use. Of an animal or person: engaging in one's typical activity or work at a specified time, under specified conditions, etc.
1797 ‘F. Fitzgerald’ iii. 333
[The iguana] may be domesticated: lives in the garden; is active during night; sees well in obscurity, and easily catches nocturnal insects.
1832 J. Murdock tr. J. L. von Mosheim I. ii. ii. ii. 146
Irenaeus, who was active during the last half of this century, was born and educated in Asia Minor.
1884 23 May 616/2
If animals that are active in winter throughout the north-eastern part of the United States..should be found hibernating in a mild climate like that of central New Jersey, the fact would be of unusual interest.
1929 R. A. Wardle 197
There would seem to be for each species of insect a range of temperatures between whose maximum and minimum extremes the insect is active.
1991 3 3/2
Data on leading Bristol businessmen active between 1870 and 1914.
2005 No. 31. 56/3
Mammals are slightly more difficult because most species are active at dawn and dusk.
b. Of or designating a current and fully participating member of a group or organization.
1830 24 Apr. 135/3
The determination of the Society, not to admit contributors to an active membership.
1879 C. E. Clement & L. Hutton I. Introd. p. lix,
Besides the active members there are Honorary Members.
1911 H. D. Brown 182
Unless the growth of the service continues at no less rate hereafter than it has in the past the proportion of superannuated to active employees must also increase.
1957 22 Jan. 7/1
Pledges entertain active members of Sigma Phi Gamma.
2004 R. Intlekofer in C. L. Hutchison et al.
A student member shall be a person who is enrolled in a college level curriculum,..but who does not meet the qualification for active membership.
b. Of a radar homing system, satellite, etc.: generating as well as receiving signals. Of a satellite, space relay station, etc.: amplifying and retransmitting signals that are received. Opposed to .
Present-day long-distance communication links are compared with..links which might use passive or active satellite relay stations.
1972 66 788
Shaddock... This missile..has an active radar homing system.
1989 XIX. 45/2
Active satellites send out radio signals to make tracking easier and to transmit data from their instruments to ground stations or other craft.
1994 Nov. 55/2
Newer missiles just entering service employ active seekers, essentially miniature radar transmitters and receivers that can find the target themselves.
14 Apr. c11/4
Some companies are working on ‘active’ millimeter wave systems, which are more like radar in bouncing energy off the person being studied.
B. n. 1.
†b. A matter related to or characterized by action. Obs.
1609 C. Tourneur 355
All his industries, (aswell in actiues, as contemplatiues).
b. With the. The active voice.
a1504 J. Holt
ii. sig. D.iiv,
A verbe deponente endeth in r. and hath diffinicyon onely of the actyf, as loquor.
1607 A. Willet 54
Is it indeede vnlearnedly translated preacheth? Then were the Septuagints vnlearned, that so interpret the actiue in the Hebrew, tikra.
1669 Milton 20
The Active signifieth to do, and always endeth in o, as Doceo, I teach.
1751 J. Harris i. ix. 179
The species of verbs therefore remaining are the active, the passive and the neuter.
1818 E. V. Blomfield tr. A. H. Matthiæ II. 710
The effect of the active consists in determining the case which it governs.
1879 W. W. Goodwin
The uncontracted forms of the future active and middle of ϕαίνω..are found in Homer and Herodotus.
1933 O. Jespersen xii. 121
The subject of a passive verb is what in the active would be an object. But if in the active there are two objects, only one of them can be made the subject.
1985 R. Quirk et al. 163
In English, prepositional verbs..can often occur in the passive, but not so freely as in the active.
1999 13 Aug. 40/2
As usual we converse in New Testament Greek, but I can tell his heart's not in it. He keeps substituting the aorist active for the aorist passive in his liquid verbs.
†a. Brit. A bond that begins to accrue interest upon issue. Cf. sense . Obs.
1835 15 July 3/6
The market has been flat ever since yesterday... Last Prices... Actives, 47½; Passives, 13½.
1850 3 July 548/1
The Foreign Market has been very dull... Brazilian Bonds have risen to 91, Peruvian Actives are quoted at 79.
1864 27 Aug. 4/2
In 1834 the Spanish Government..gave for two-thirds of the amount new bonds, which were termed Five per Cent. Actives, the remaining third of the debt being discharged in what were termed ‘Passive’ bonds, and the whole of the arrears of interest in ‘deferred’ bonds.
b. Stock Market. An actively traded security. Cf. sense . Opposed to inactive.
1898 10 July 23/3
The week closed with a fair business in actives.
1911 6 July 14/1
C.P.R declined nearly four points and most of the actives opened 1 to 1¾ under Monday's finals.
1943 1 Apr. 14/2
International Mercantile Marine was among the most active issues... Other actives included International Telephone.
1 Apr. 10
The two new listings of the week continued to post great trading volume to top the actives list.
2007 A. Kuznetsov iii. xvi. 410
Unlike the situation with actives, where such things are evident immediately, market data problems involving less actively traded issues can sit undetected for hours.
orig. and chiefly U.S.
a. Mil. A member of the military in active service. Freq. opposed to reserve.
1840 1 Sept.
The other twenty three States and three Territories should..furnish the remaining 179,200 actives and sedentaries.
1898 C. M. Andrews
Another [measure]..divided the army into the actives, the reserves, and the landwehr.
1933 5 Nov. 6/1
France has an army of 607,000 actives and a trained reserve of 6,328,000.
17 May 173
We should move toward a system where reserves provide the bulk of our forces while the actives provide the stiffening skeleton.
2006 A. H. Cordesman ii. 20
Israel has a very small active force, but if its high-quality reserves are added to its total actives, its force strength is far more competitive with its Arab neighbors.
b. A current and fully participating member of a group or organization.
1880 May 100/2
The Club of those earlier days was little more than the protoplasm..of the present development, in which it is by no means certain the ‘honoraries’ do not find quite as much pleasure as the ‘actives’.
1930 9 Oct. 3/2
Delta Delta Delta actives and pledges will entertain their guests at a house dance at the Delta lodge.
1988 J. P. Hoerr xviii. 508
From a ratio of 4.0 actives to each retiree, the company swung around to a ratio of 3.5 retirees to each active.
30 Nov. b5
There's got to be some kind of responsibility from the actives to the retirees.
c. Sport (chiefly Baseball and Amer. Football). Any of a (fixed) number of players on a squad who are eligible to play in a given game or season. Cf. .In many leagues, the maximum number of such players is restricted.
1931 6 Nov. 20/5
Arkansas' Razorbacks..had had only 22 actives on its list, while the Maroon squad..numbers 30 or more athletes.
1962 21 Mar. 16/2
Coach Frank McGuire, who had only used six men Monday night, added Ed Conlin and York Larese to his actives for this game.
1994 R. F. Burk vii. 205
AA [= American Association] teams enforced team limits of thirty reservists and twenty actives.
27 Apr. a76
The Bears are unlikely to keep four running backs on the 53-man roster, and there is no way they'll dress four among the 45 actives.
6. A substance, molecule, etc., with particular chemical or biological activity; an active ingredient. Cf. sense .
1918 W. C. M. Lewis
I. ix. 412
Arrhenius assumes that in a solution..the active molecules or ‘actives’ only represent a very small fraction of the total sucrose molecules.
1946 E. K. Marshall in 188
We have in the anti-malarial game hundreds of compounds of two series. We took three or four actives and mixed them together and called them aminoquinolines.
1980 6 Feb. 52
We see the next thrust for sunscreen actives in skin-care creams and lotions.
2007 9 Sept. (Woman) 70/1
Serum: this goes on before moisturiser... You might also need ‘actives’ to fight against ageing, fine lines, redness, dullness.
S1. Parasynthetic (in sense ), as active-bodied, active-limbed, active-minded.
1647 tr. G. Wishart xii. 102
He call'd for only twenty active bodied men of the Highlanders that were used to hunting, & very good marks-men, and commanded them to check their insolence.
1779 T. Twining
He is a searching, experimentizing, active-minded man.
1781 J. Kershaw x. 83
From ancient Scotia's hills and fertile plans, Whose blooming nymphs and active limbed swains, O'er quaking bogs with lightsome vigour run.
1837 W. Whewell I. iii. i. 154
The pleasure which..active-minded men feel in exercising the process of deduction.
1870 W. C. Bryant tr. Homer I. v. 152
There the active-limbed, Fleet Iris stayed them.
1935 22 Nov.
Hitler is training every active bodied man in the nation in the intricacies of war.
6 June 29,
I am one of those people fortunate enough to be active-minded and alert and always drive with care.
active birth n. (an approach to) childbirth in which the mother is encouraged to take an active part in the progress of her labour, chiefly by being given freedom of movement and position; an instance of this.
1982 6 Nov. 1038/1,
2750 people, over half of them midwives, and the rest mostly parents, attended the International Conference on Active Birth.
1983 J. Balaskas i. 1
An active birth involves you giving birth through your own will and determination.
1996 S. F. Murray & D. S. V. Segura in S. F. Murray vii. 92
There has been little mainstream interest in active birth or natural birth techniques as yet.
2007 10 Mar. 817/2
That rally symbolised a split between professionals and women who supported active birth.
Said organic matter is transformed into active carbon.
Several processes under test employ various forms of active carbon or semiactivated coke as adsorbents.
1995 D. James in E. B. Jackson
Normally, double carbonatation is sufficient but, if required, active carbon can be added during carbonatation.
Slight contact of air with the active charcoal often decreases its efficiency at least 50%.
1938 II. 319/2
Active charcoal is widely used in industry for the recovery of valuable products which exist as attenuated vapours in unadsorbable gases.
1990 Dec. 8/2
Over 30 per cent of the German water supply contains pesticides; only active charcoal filters can remove the residues.
Active Citizen Force n. S. Afr. Mil. (now hist.) (originally) a division of the Union Defence Forces; (in later use) a division of the reserve forces of the South African Defence Force.
1911 1 Dec. 8/2
The Active Citizen Force will consist of citizens between the ages of 17 and 25, and it is estimated that for this purpose 20,000 to 25,000 men will be sufficient.
1981 July 42
Only a small percentage of its members belong to the Permanent Force. The rest are servicemen or hail from the Active Citizen Force or Commandos.
Andre flew jet fighters when he was in the South African Air Force and massive helicopters for the Active Citizen Force after that.
active current n. Electr. the component of an alternating current that is in phase with the voltage; cf. .
The active current is in phase with and equal to the current which is induced in the drum.
1992 July–Oct. 775/2
A monolithic regular subsystem... Consists of..a duty-cycle controllable oscillator with an active current limit circuit, an error amplifier, [etc.].
2006 A. Hughes
For the same torque we would expect the same active current.
active debt n.
(a) a debt which is owed to a person, as opposed to one which he or she owes (now rare);
(b) a debt on which interest accrues.Opposed to passive debt.
1728 E. Chambers at Debt,
Active Debts, are those whereof a Person is Creditor: Passive Debts, those whereof he is Debtor.
The active debt should continue to bear interest thenceforth at five per cent.:..the passive debt should bear no interest in the mean time.
1853 F. Baraga 468/2,
I collect my credits, (my active debts,) nin nandoshkamage.
1979 F. E. Perry 4/1
Active Debt, a debt owed to a person.
18 Nov. 9
Only £156,829,907 is ‘active debt’ and is subject to an interest rate of 7.75 per cent.
active deposit n. Physics a deposit of radioactive material formed by the decay of a radioactive gas or emanation ().
1904 E. Rutherford in 6th Ser. 8 636
For convenience, the products in the active deposit will be termed Radium A, Radium B and Radium C, respectively.
1936 N. Feather viii. 131
Sources of radon, radiothorium and thorium active deposit..emit positive as well as negative electrons.
2002 36 2800/1
Two radioactive gases, both emitted by soils, are also monitored..from measurements of short-lived daughters by the active deposit method.
active duty n. (full-time) service in the operational work of the armed forces or police, esp. as opposed to service in a reserve or support capacity; also in extended use.
1801 in A. Anderson
The utmost vigilance will be expected from officers in situations of active duty, whether at the out-posts, or more immediately with the army.
1898 Aug. 32
Lieutenant Carhart, whose short leave of absence had expired, returned to active duty at the fortifications.
1941 5 Aug. 11/3
The recent act permitting the Secretary of War to retire those whom a board has decreed to be ‘unsuited for further active duty’.
Mr. Brown is still on the police payroll and his battle to be reinstated to active duty is before the courts.
1991 15 May c5/2
Now with only six months of active duty in professional baseball, Bolton's ‘career’ numbers include a 15-4 record.
2007 28 May 48/1
Suicide bombers, IEDs, snipers—it's little wonder that more officers are..leaving uniform as soon as the required five years of active duty is finished.
active euthanasia n. the ending of a terminally ill person's life by direct intervention, such as administering a lethal dose of painkilling drugs; cf. .
1954 103 360
One might argue that..non-feasance should go completely unpunished even though active euthanasia remains punishable.
1972 24 Feb. 6/4
The report..does not state clearly where passive euthanasia ends and active euthanasia begins.
2007 13 Mar. 18/2
Active euthanasia is illegal in France.
active galactic nucleus n. Astron. a compact region at the centre of a galaxy which emits an abnormally large amount of radiation in one or more parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.Such regions are usually hypothesized to contain supermassive black holes.
1965 142 1086
Violent phenomena such as novae, supernovae, active galactic nuclei, formation of hot stars, turbulence, etc., excite waves (hydromagnetic) in the interstellar medium.
1992 S. P. Maran 3/1
The term active galactic nuclei (or AGN) is commonly used to mean all active galaxies, including GSOs.
2008 24 Apr. p. vii,
Blazars are the most extreme active galactic nuclei, possessing oppositely directed plasma jets emanating from accreting supermassive black-holes at near-light speeds.
active galaxy n. Astron. a galaxy which emits an abnormally large amount of electromagnetic radiation, spec. one containing an active galactic nucleus.
1958 Suppl. No.6. 56
If there are 106 such active galaxies, as can be inferred from radio astronomy, we have..Density of cosmic rays from active galaxies ≃ 10−18 — 10−14 cm−3.
1990 J. Gribbin & M. Rees
The central ‘prime movers’ in active galaxies are, theorists believe, spinning black holes, as massive as a hundred million Suns.
2003 Sept. 79/3
Quasars are believed to be active galaxies containing a black hole at their centre.
active immunity n. Immunol. acquired immunity which is induced in an individual by exposure to an antigenic stimulus.
1897 R. Muir & J. Ritchie xix. 426
Active immunity is obtained by (a) injections of the organisms either in an attenuated condition or in sub-lethal doses, or (b) by sub-lethal doses of their products.
1928 L. E. H. Whitby ii. 16
In active immunity the defensive mechanisms of the body have been created either by a response to a previous infection or artificially by inoculation with vaccines.
1985 M. F. Myles
Some weeks elapse before the baby produces an active immunity to various organisms.
2001 N. Jones i. 8
The most common method, known as active immunity, stimulates the body to make antibodies to the disease in response to a vaccination or by contracting the infection itself.
active layer n. Geomorphol. a surface layer of soil, overlying permafrost, that freezes in winter and thaws in summer.
1943 S. W. Muller 5
Above the permafrost is a layer of ground that thaws in the summer and freezes again in the winter. This layer represents the seasonally frozen ground and is called the active layer.
1977 A. Hallam 89
The churning of the active layer by freezing and thawing prevents the development of a stable soil structure.
2005 25 Apr. 61/1
When you walk around in the Arctic, you are stepping not on permafrost but on something called the ‘active layer’.
active learning an educational approach in which students are encouraged to engage with the material to be studied through activities, such as experimentation, group discussion, and role-play.
1919 P. Munroe 1 144/2
‘Learning by doing’. This is the characteristic mode that the principle takes in the ‘active learning’ of the kindergarten.
1961 2 Dec. 5/3
Call for ‘active learning’... Children should be allowed to gain knowledge at their own rate and from their own interests.
2004 J. Ciaccio vii. 137
In high-intensity active learning, the students are the workers.
active list n.
(a) a list of officers in the armed forces liable to be called on for service; also in extended use; cf. ;
(b) = ;
1827 17 July 3/3
The Lord High Admiral has..given them their proper place of seniority in the active list of Admirals.
1857 22 Apr. 8/5
The stock has not been more largely oversold than half-a-dozen other Railroad shares on the active list.
1880 28 Mar. 3/3
The Jefferson City Base Ball Club..has reorganized for the coming season. The active list consists of the following players.
1906 VII. 576/2
No officer on the active list is allowed to leave the United Kingdom without special permission.
1907 55 429/1
Of these only the Remington and the Hammond are to-day on the active list.
1985 18 July 21/6
British Telecom returned to the active list with a spectacular 3,128 total of trades.
1998 28 Nov. iii. 2/2
The decision on whether Bears quarterback Erik Kramer finishes the season on the active list or goes on the injured reserve might be made this weekend.
17 Nov. 26
He retired from the active list as a Commander.
active mass n.
[after French masse active ( C. M. Guldberg & P. Waage Études sur les affinités chimiques (1867) ii. §5.6)]
Chem. the molar concentration of a substance taking part in a reaction (to which, by the law of mass action, the rate of the reaction is proportional); cf. .
1879 5th Ser. 8 183
The force causing the formation of A′ and B′..is proportional to the product of the active masses of A and B.
1955 J. C. Giblin
iv. i. 88
The product of the active masses of hydrion and hydroxylion..is known as the ‘Ionisation Constant’ for water.
2008 A. Tuck 144
In a homogeneous system the rate of a chemical reaction is proportional to the active masses of the reacting substances. Active mass is usually taken as molecular concentration.
active matrix n. Electronics a liquid crystal display in which each pixel can be individually refreshed, typically by means of its own transistor or diode, giving improved image quality; freq. attrib.; cf. .
1975 T. P. Brody et al. in 22 740/1
The difficulties and limitations of passive matrix-addressed displays..have led us to explore ‘active’ matrixes, i.e., matrixes which contain gain-producing and switching elements at their points of intersection.
1984 28 May 76/3
While laboratory samples of active-matrix screens exist..the production process is still a question mark.
5 May c10/4
These monitors, which have active-matrix T.F.T. (thin film transistor) screens with a native resolution of 1,280 by 1,024, can also be viewed from a 160-degree viewing angle.
active obedience n.
(a) Theol. Christ's perfect and complete deference to God in carrying out his laws and commands, as distinguished from his suffering and dying on the cross;
(b) (voluntary) proactive compliance with the commands of an authority (opposed to ).
1597 W. Perkins 64
The righteousnesse of Christ, which consisteth partly in his sufferings, and partly in his actiue obedience in fulfiling the rigour of the law.
1669 J. Stewart i. 20
Passive subjection to unjust laws and punishment, where there is power to make active violent resistance, is a greater sin then active obedience to unlawful commands of Magistrats.
a1708 W. Beveridge
As by Christ's passive obedience we are freed from the guilt of sin, so by His active obedience we are invested with righteousness.
1890 J. Russell tr. R. de Guimps 238
The first manifestations of obedience are of a purely passive character... It is not till much later that he [sc. the child] is capable of active obedience.
1955 J. Murray 220
The two distinct aspects of our Lord's vicarious obedience... The law of God has both penal sanctions & positive demands... The passive obedience refers to the former and the active obedience to the latter.
2001 R. Williams in J. H. Newman Introd. p. xxviii,
There is a significant distinction between active obedience, co-operating with the demands of authority, and passive obedience, being subject to the laws when they require a penalty for non-co-operation.
active optics n. Astron. an automatic system for keeping a reflecting surface in a telescope free from distortion due to gravity or other environmental effects, using small pistons which continuously adjust the position of each part of the surface; cf. .
1968 H. J. Robertson in 245
Active optics for large orbiting astronomical telescopes.
Its main telescopic imaging system is reported to have a ground resolution of about six inches, mainly due to the incorporation of an advanced technology known as active optics.
2002 Nov. 174/2
To keep the segments aligned, he used dozens of tiny computer-controlled actuators, or pistons—an innovation known as active optics.
active-passive adj. Grammar of or designating a verb used intransitively with passive meaning; cf. .
1859 S. Barrett
The old-time division of the verb into six classes, active transitive, active intransitive, neuter trans., neuter intrans., active passive and neuter passive is now disregarded.
1950 31 156
It is generally said that in a sentence like His books don't sell the verb is active in form, but passive in meaning, what is ‘really’ meant being His books are not sold. In accordance with this theory verbs used in this way are sometimes called active-passive or passival.
2001 77 625/1
They are a linguistically natural phenomenon serving some communication need as basic as that conveyed by better known grammatical forms such as causatives, applicatives, and active-passive constructions.
active roster n. U.S. Sport (chiefly Baseball and Amer. Football) the list of players who are eligible to play in a given game or season (cf. sense ).
1915 15 June 15/2
The release of Hess reduces the active roster to twenty players. This does not include Evers and Martin, who are on the disabled list.
1965 20 Dec. 10/3
Baltimore also put George Haffner on the active roster as a reserve quarterback for the Rams game.
2008 D. Moore 68,
I wondered why I had been placed on the practice squad. I truly believed that I..had earned the right to a spot on the active roster.
active service n. direct participation in military operations as a member of the armed forces; cf.
1658 W. Sanderson 1084
Whilst the General, Lieutenant General, Major General, Commissary General, and the most of the chiefest Commanders are abroad in active service, others are encouraged thereby.
1755 C. Chauncy 21
One full eighth part of our people..are in active service at this day, and a greater number of them in our own pay.
1838 20 Sept. 118
Alphabetical List of Masters. Those in Italics are unfit for active Service.
2002 G. McCafferty xix. 105
My son had previously, on several occasions, offered himself for active service, but on account of defective eyesight and varicocele, he had been rejected.
active site n. Chem. and Biochem. a location on a surface, molecule, etc., which possesses specific catalytic or other chemical activity; spec. the part of an enzyme or other protein molecule which binds to a substrate and participates directly in a reaction.
[1941 A. 178 438
This increase is not due to a variation in the nature of the catalytically active sites.]
1945 88 265
At the higher concentrations of azide the inhibitor could compete successfully for an active site on the enzyme surface.
1957 79 2657/1
The substrate is assumed to be absorbed with a precise fit into an area called the ‘active site’ of the protein.
1993 Nov. 29/1
Selenium is the major component of the active site of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase.
2007 M. Nelson & X. D. Chen in G. Stracher iv. 56/1
The adsorption and desorption of water changes the number of active sites that are available for the oxidation process to occur.
active transport n. Biochem. the transport of molecules or ions across a cellular membrane against an electrochemical gradient, typically assisted by enzymes and using energy from the hydrolysis of ATP.
1937 33 912
Active transport of a substance is brought about by some kind of dynamic machinery working within living cells.
1964 G. H. Haggis et al. vi. 155
Movement against the concentration gradient or, more generally, movement of the transported molecule or ion to a state of higher thermodynamic potential energy, is termed active transport.
1989 Nov. 51/3
Concentrations of micronutrients in blood plasma are usually low; to scavenge them from the blood, the choroid plexus relies on active-transport mechanisms.
2005 A. J. Tobin & J. Dusheck
In active transport, cells use the energy of ATP to move ions across the membrane.
activewear n. orig. U.S. casual, comfortable clothing, esp. in styles suitable for sport or exercise; sportswear.
1924 10 Aug. 10 e/4
Line checks in bright shades upon medium grounds are preferred for active wear, with pastel and ivory grounds prevailing in party frocks.
1984 Spring–Summer 41
Laundered-look cotton activewear bursting with casual character and comfort.
22 Apr. (Weekend section) 73
High street specialist Blacks has just launched..its first range of women's activewear, which includes hooded tops, T-shirts and shorts in supersoft wickable fabrics.
a - kt - i - v
|a||a||as in trap (primary stress)|
|kt||kt||as in actor|
|ɪ||i||as in pit, hill|
|v||v||as in drive|
a - kt - i - v
|æ||a||as in pat, attack (primary stress)|
|kt||kt||as in actor|
|ɪ||i||as in pit, hill|
|v||v||as in drive|
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This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, November 2010).
In this entry:
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- actitation, n.1661
- activable, adj.1606
- activase, n.1928
- activate, v.1624
- activated, adj.1899
- activating, n.1902
- activating, adj.1926
- activation, n.1883
- activator, n.1904
- active, adj. and n.1340
- active, v.1620
- actively, adv.c1454
- activeness, n.1513
- activin, n.1986
- activism, n.1856
- activist, adj. and n.1908
- activistic, adj.1907
- activity, n.a1425
- activo-passive, adj.1860
- actless, adj.1654
- act of faith, n.1528
- Act of Parliament, n.1456
- actogram, n.1928
- actograph, n.1920
- actomyosin, n.1942
- acton, n.1328
- Actonian, adj.1898
- actor, n.a1325
- actorine, n.1892
- actorish, adj.1941
- actorly, adj.1957
- actorship, n.1602
- actory, adj.1917
- actress, n.1586
- actressy, adj.1893
- actuability, n.1682
- actual, adj. and n.c1350
- actualism, n.1849
- actualist, n. and adj.1853
- actualistic, adj.1857