Definition of active in English:

active

adjective

  • 1Engaging or ready to engage in physically energetic pursuits.

    ‘although he was seventy he was still robust and active’
    • ‘Among older adults categorized as physically active, 24.7 percent engage in strength training.’
    • ‘Being physically active also helps, a morning run, ride or swim really gets those feel good hormones pumping and keeps those cortisol levels down.’
    • ‘For example, the current guidelines include stronger recommendations about the need to be physically active.’
    • ‘If staff members have to drive a car or cart from place to place, then children may wonder why they should be physically active.’
    • ‘Anyone who is physically active can tell us how important it is to eat and sleep well, as well as not pushing our bodies too far.’
    • ‘Here are some ways to help encourage your child to be active and get moving every day.’
    • ‘Women were asked in an initial survey how physically active they were.’
    • ‘Accounts of his death differ, but all agree that he was physically and mentally active to the end.’
    • ‘By 2007, according to the plan, 80% of primary schoolchildren will be physically active.’
    • ‘Woman cannot survive on meat alone, especially a physically active gal.’
    • ‘I get quite depressed in the winter if I don't stay very physically active.’
    • ‘And we thought what we'd try and do is use children's interest in the Internet and in computers as a strategy to get them more physically active.’
    • ‘Chuck Feeney is described by those who've met him as an active, vigorous man with the athletic physique of a former runner.’
    • ‘For boys, the desire to be physically active can further impede their interest in reading.’
    • ‘Among the more fit and active, vigorous activity is needed for additional health benefits.’
    • ‘Those who are physically active between the ages of 20 and 60 have been shown to be at reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease.’
    • ‘Despite predictions of almost unbounded mobility, most people in industrialised nations are less physically active than ever before.’
    • ‘Researchers are seeking 15 women aged 18-35, who are physically active and are on the pill.’
    • ‘In short, we were broke, and we had lost perhaps 90% of our most vigorous and active young men.’
    • ‘Colourful and co-ordinated, you can use the everyday tips and moves to get yourself active.’
    mobile, energetic, agile, sporty, nimble, vigorous, vital, dynamic, sprightly, spry, lively, animated, bouncy, bubbly, perky, frisky, zestful, spirited
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    1. 1.1 Moving or tending to move about vigorously or frequently.
      ‘I couldn't feel the baby moving, and it was normally very active’
      • ‘They actually were quite active moving around and interacting with the crowd, it looks as if they have been together for awhile.’
      • ‘If the defense is active and moves from one side of the offense to the other quickly, it can be confusing to the offensive players teammates.’
      • ‘Whilst it has long been thought that eels are scavengers, we now know that in many fisheries eels are active hunters, feeding upon live prey.’
      • ‘The light is always so atmospheric and the fish more active.’
      • ‘One captive was extremely active, continuously moving about its enclosure in search of food.’
      • ‘This is analogous to the predator also being an active forager moving frequently between patches.’
      • ‘S / he is a good size, vigorously active, has all the relevant bits and bobs, and is doing just fine.’
      • ‘Others are active hunters, preying on the ocean floor and crushing food with blunt flattened teeth.’
      • ‘They are an active predator feeding mainly on whitefish such as whiting, codling and haddock, also small rays, flatfish, dogfish and even scallops and crabs.’
      • ‘Once again the Dukes were on active service and they soon distinguished themselves by vigorous and active patrolling the line.’
      • ‘I also noticed that pike were fairly active taking the odd fish off of the hook.’
      • ‘These dances quickly change partners and keep campers active and moving.’
      robust, healthy, in good health, hale and hearty, strong, strong as an horse, strong as an lion, strong as an ox, sturdy, fine, fit, in good condition, in tip-top condition, in good shape, in good trim, in good kilter
      strenuous, powerful, potent, forceful, forcible, spirited, mettlesome, determined, resolute, aggressive, eager, keen, enthusiastic, zealous, ardent, fervent, vehement, intense, intensive, passionate, fiery, wild, unrestrained, uncontrolled, unbridled
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    2. 1.2 Characterized by busy or lively activity.
      ‘they enjoyed an active social life’
      • ‘Modern day Hollywood is a diverse, vital, and active community striving to preserve the elegant buildings from its past.’
      • ‘Steven encourages an active social scene with evening out paint-balling, bowling and karting all paid for by the company.’
      • ‘Why not come along and join us. we are a very busy and active institute and meet on the third Thursday at St Peter's Church in Hextable.’
      • ‘Keeping busy and leading an active life are all part of the big picture for Mrs Morris.’
      • ‘An overwhelming 65 per cent said the way to tackle it was to maintain an active social circle.’
      • ‘Local WI members say their meetings - which combine socialising with education - are very active and lively.’
      • ‘With the sociological changes of the 19th century, social life became more active, giving rise to reunions and outings to the countryside.’
      • ‘These are busy women with very active social lives.’
      • ‘The Jobs Club has been very active and busy since it got up and running at the beginning of the year.’
      • ‘Not that Elle actually had time to notice what went on with Aaron lately, what with her new busy and active social life and all.’
      • ‘It didn't make sense for the active lifestyle of a busy family with working parents and two teenage children.’
      • ‘Who knows, perhaps some people like a busy, active church: but somehow wonder and reverence seem to go better with quiet.’
      • ‘He has an active social life, and snowboards and plays representation level soccer.’
      • ‘Caroline is tired, lonely and depressed even as she leads a fake, but highly active, social life.’
      • ‘Mom had a very active social life, despite her age, and she played tennis twice a week, plus being a member of about four different committees.’
      • ‘A few years ago my parents started having a more active social life than I did.’
      • ‘I have a very active social life. I have better friends than most.’
      • ‘Sure there's a lot of computer games, but there's plenty of active pursuits going on after school too.’
      • ‘But don't worry, I lead a very active social life and my Sunday roast dinners-for-ten are legendary!’
      • ‘I'm just a social drinker with a really active social calendar.’
    3. 1.3 (of a person's mind or imagination) alert and lively.
      ‘Caroline nodded slowly, her active mind already racing ahead’
      • ‘Morbid thoughts plagued her overly active imaginative mind and sent chills down her spine.’
      • ‘I kinda slumped to the ground even though my mind was active.’
      • ‘My friend also had something most of these heirs don't: a vital and active mind.’
      • ‘Not that I've spent a lot of time rummaging around such places, mind you, but I got me an active imagination.’
      • ‘My active mind has always been a great strength, but as long as I can remember, my mind never rests and I exhaust myself mentally and emotionally.’
      • ‘Inside of the child, emotions stirred and the mind was incredibly active.’
      • ‘The beauty of Humphrey's work is that his mind is active on so many levels at once.’
      • ‘I must admit, I do find running relaxing on a daily basis, but my mind is still active.’
      • ‘Sixty-nine percent of them were using the Internet regularly, and they had very active minds.’
      • ‘It was, indeed, a confluence of active minds from various schools in Madurai district.’
      • ‘Is it accurate to say that children have active imaginations?’
      • ‘Isn't it great, how kids can amuse themselves with nothing more than a climbable tree and an active imagination?’
      • ‘Possessing an active imagination ranks high on my list of cherished blessings.’
      • ‘Their active minds constantly sought ways to be more efficient.’
      • ‘Now we know what had been churning in his doubtless active mind.’
      • ‘As well as an active mind, Caroline was also very athletic.’
      • ‘All the poems in Trouble in Mind depend on the reader's active imagination; in fact, they read as instructions for it.’
      • ‘Standing silently in a silent room when you're low on caffine and have had less than 6 hours sleep requires an active imagination.’
      • ‘Keeping up with current affairs and maintaining an active mind has been the key to Gladys Whitehead's long life.’
      • ‘Therefore, the reader's active mind will in a way determine his understanding of the novel.’
  • 2Pursuing an occupation or activity at a particular place or in a particular way.

    ‘the artist was active in the 1920s’
    ‘tigers are active mainly at night’
    ‘a politically active student body’
    ‘sexually active teenagers’
    • ‘Aggregating in groups during the daytime, they are usually active at night.’
    • ‘The fish become more active and our plants emerge from their dormancy.’
    • ‘The lack of knowledge stemmed from the fact that cats are active mainly at night and almost impossible to see in the dense vegetation where they usually live.’
    • ‘Spring is when many songbirds are most active, busy competing for mates, establishing breeding pairs, setting up territories.’
    • ‘His name suggests he was born in Venice, but he was active mainly in Florence.’
    • ‘His brother, Geer van Velde (1898 - 1977), was also a painter and likewise active mainly in France.’
    • ‘Egg-laying adults are especially active during bloom, a time period when insecticides should not be applied.’
    • ‘They are mainly active during the day and their gait is sideways.’
    • ‘His revisionist interpretation of the Renaissance had an electrifying effect on other French scholars active during the last decade of the nineteenth century.’
    • ‘Many species of hawkmoth are active at dawn and dusk when the colour of light changes considerably.’
    • ‘Generally, Quokkas sleep during the day, but they are very active at night.’
    • ‘The potato leafhopper is active during the summer months, and can cause severe yield and quality losses in alfalfa.’
    • ‘‘Shoplifters are certainly more active during Christmas,’ a spokesperson said.’
    • ‘But several hunts organized by the city government over the past months turned up empty-handed, apparently since cold-blooded reptiles are not very active during the chillier months.’
    • ‘We use a little motorboat to search for the crocodilians at night, when they are active.’
    • ‘It is thought losses reflect a period in early mammalian history in which mammals were active mainly at night.’
    • ‘Signal crayfish become less active and move around less during the winter.’
    • ‘Bass sulking amid summer heat sense the change and big fish become more active.’
    • ‘These are those who live in the areas where the fighters are active.’
    • ‘The Feather finfish resembling a bat is active at night.’
    1. 2.1 Participating or engaged in a particular sphere or activity in a positive or spontaneous rather than a passive way.
      ‘she was an active member of the society’
      ‘he had never been very active in the affairs of the institute’
      ‘he enjoyed the active support of the government’
      • ‘He became politically active as a student and was a founder member of the Congress of Democrats.’
      • ‘He also keeps himself fairly socially active, spearheading a charity to benefit inner-city youths of musical talent.’
      • ‘They clearly targeted sexually active people with one message: If you're having sex, do it safely.’
      • ‘The project required the students to become active participants in the course.’
      • ‘We believe that progress toward that end requires that the government be active and engaged in delivering those things.’
      • ‘The Ministry of Environment and Forests is calling students to play an active role in environment protection.’
      • ‘I have been pretty active on the Internet in the past days, but too little time to update this blog.’
      • ‘These pastors also are politically active and engaged in civil rights.’
      • ‘I would like to think such is not the case either, as I have been politically active and have engaged with my community in many ways outside of my university life.’
      • ‘The man has been pretty active on the social front.’
      • ‘The order has a large urban base, and its educated members are particularly politically active.’
      • ‘Women, at least in the economic sphere, are as active as men, while the latter also exercise domination in the private sphere.’
      • ‘More than seven in 10 who had not had sex came from a family where parents were married to each other, compared with only half of the teenagers who were sexually active.’
      • ‘The children of this class who are now in their early twenties remember little or nothing of Soviet privation and are active on the nightlife social scene.’
      • ‘About a quarter were sexually active before participating in the Wise Guys program.’
      • ‘Family centered strategies also encourage surrogate parents to become active in their grandchild's education.’
      • ‘‘Teens are becoming sexually active before they're ready,’ reads another result.’
      • ‘But with more than a quarter of young people being sexually active before they reach the age of 16, this is the age group least likely to use contraception.’
      • ‘She was already an established singer at the Opera, and many other composers had family connections with male musicians active on the operatic scene.’
      • ‘About half of all Americans age 60 and older are sexually active, according to the National Council on Aging.’
      • ‘In fact, it is precisely times like these that encourage students to become politically active.’
      • ‘But some of them were very nice chaps and took a very active part in student life; and added a bit of common sense to student stupidity perhaps.’
      hard-working, busy, industrious, diligent, tireless, contributing, enterprising, influential
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  • 3(of a thing) working; operative.

    ‘the old watermill was active until 1960’
    • ‘At that time, many Reserve units were flying and operating legacy aircraft that were no longer in the active force.’
    • ‘I'm having to change phone numbers along with addresses, and the new number won't be active until Saturday morning.’
    • ‘The Army must continually examine how it will integrate contractors into units during active operations.’
    • ‘The B-52Bs replaced the 95th's B-36s and the unit was active until 1966 when its aircraft were flown to Davis-Morithan for storage and scrapping.’
    • ‘And, frankly, we saw what happened once active operations got under way.’
    • ‘The site, however, remained active until the end of last week.’
    • ‘The yard remained active until 1957, when a fire destroyed the thatched barn and cattle yards, leaving the existing buildings.’
    • ‘The website needs an update as some of the links are no longer active.’
    • ‘These gauges are active today and are operated as a part of the Passaic Flood Warning System.’
    • ‘The survey set out to understand the sectors where these businesses are active, where they operate, who they benefit and how they generate income.’
    • ‘He has also noted that about half the cases this year occurred during active hostilities or combat operations in the Persian Gulf.’
    • ‘I seem to remember some research that showed that different areas of the brain are active when you use the mouse and the keyboard.’
    • ‘There was no trace of the medieval synagogue in Aldwark nor the Petergate synagogue, active until as recently as 1975.’
    • ‘One hour before the start of active combat operations, it is recommended to begin Stage 3 of the operation.’
    • ‘Link not active yet until he posts another entry so look for the post made on Friday, 23rd May.’
    • ‘An active e-commerce operation has almost no time to spare for restore after a data interruption.’
    • ‘Rush trained as a ship carver and operated an active workshop for more than fifty years.’
    • ‘Rational strengths of force groupings for the employment in the zone of active combat operations can be substantiated by two methods.’
    • ‘The Army clings to the belief that all active units should be ready to deploy at any time.’
    • ‘Under the established law of armed conflict, he can civilly intern a captured combatant until the end of active hostilities.’
    operative, working, functioning, functional, operating, operational, in action, in operation, in force, live
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    1. 3.1 (of an electric circuit) capable of modifying its state or characteristics automatically in response to input or feedback.
      ‘the receiver is continuously active whenever the vehicle ignition is switched on’
      • ‘An active bypass circuit for use with a battery pack having a plurality of cells and method of operation thereof.’
      • ‘Such QD devices can be integrated into the photonic crystals that will be used as active optical router circuits.’
      • ‘An active cascode amplifier circuit which includes an active cascode amplifier and an amplitude limiter.’
      • ‘Each of the associated heater resistors has associated active circuitry on the chip.’
      • ‘The valve-off state is always active until a signal is received to switch to the valve-on mode.’
    2. 3.2 (of a volcano) that is erupting or has erupted in historical times.
      ‘the volcano became active on 28 March last year’
      ‘Etna is Europe's highest and most active volcano’
      • ‘The active volcanoes erupt a type of rock known as basalt.’
      • ‘Mount St. Helens has been an active volcano for about 40,000 years with intermittent periods of dormancy.’
      • ‘Deception Island is a historically active volcano with the last eruptions about 30 years ago.’
      • ‘They are all of volcanic origin; Fogo, the only volcano still active, last erupted in 1995.’
      • ‘Some of the best rice-growing regions of Indonesia are in the shadow of active volcanoes.’
    3. 3.3 (of a disease) in which the symptoms are manifest; not in remission or latent.
      ‘active colitis’
      • ‘None of the children had evidence of active disease on chest radiograph.’
      • ‘The differential diagnosis from chronic active hepatitis may present some difficult problems.’
      • ‘Two percent of elderly with latent infections develop active tuberculosis.’
      • ‘In this regard, it is desirable to test their ability to distinguish between active disease and indolent infection.’
      • ‘For example, the clinician may want to know if the disease is active, or which organs might be involved.’
    4. 3.4 Having a chemical or biological effect on something.
      ‘active ingredients’
      • ‘But up until now, the active ingredient of the drug, oseltamivir, is found in a plant, the star anise.’
      • ‘The chemical, salicylic acid, is an active ingredient in aspirin, which is known to thin the blood and reduce the risk of heart disease and bowel cancer.’
      • ‘Boron converts Vitamin D into its active form thus participating in the calcium absorption process.’
      • ‘It is a very active metal that reacts vigorously with oxygen in the air, catching fire spontaneously.’
      • ‘The anoxia probably prevented active and continuous bioturbation of the sediment.’
      • ‘But apparently they must list the reported side effects to any of the active ingredients in the medicine.’
      • ‘Large numbers of plant species are a great source of biologically active compounds whose effect on human health or genetic material is mostly unknown.’
      • ‘Cosmetic lotions and potions don't contain enough of the active ingredient they boast to have any noticeable effect.’
      • ‘They then perform a crude screening of the organisms to determine if they contain novel chemicals that are biologically active.’
      • ‘This was supposedly caused by a chemical transformation of the active ingredient, but that conclusion was disputed by other scientists.’
  • 4Grammar
    Denoting a voice of verbs in which the subject is typically the person or thing performing the action and which can take a direct object (e.g. she loved him as opposed to the passive form he was loved).

    • ‘Use active verbs and active sentences when writing your site's copy.’
    • ‘Another advantage of sentences written in active voice is that the sentences are usually shorter.’
    • ‘Be ruthless with clutter, write in the active voice, place each idea into a sentence of its own, and lastly, get your punctuation right.’
    • ‘We would expect strong active verbs in a news story about tsunami relief efforts.’
    • ‘Military vision documents are written in the active voice, with strong verbs and modifiers.’

noun

Grammar
  • An active form of a verb.

    • ‘By the way, they discuss many different kinds of bias on the part of the news agency, not just choice between actives and passives.’
    • ‘Then there were yet more inflections of verbs, passives alongside actives, subjunctives alongside indicatives, imperatives, present and past participles, gerunds and gerundives.’

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘preferring action to contemplation’): from Latin activus, from act- ‘done’, from the verb agere.

Pronunciation

active

/ˈaktɪv/