Definition of false positive in English:

false positive


  • A test result which wrongly indicates that a particular condition or attribute is present.

    ‘stress testing, a routine diagnostic tool used in detecting heart disease, results in a significant number of false positives in women’
    [as modifier] ‘the computer-aided system may return false positive results’
    • ‘A rare, lethal disease with painful treatment, on the other hand, requires a diagnostic tool with very few false positives and negatives.’
    • ‘Some results are false positives suggesting abnormalities in actually healthy hearts.’
    • ‘As your detection rate increased, so did your false positive rate.’
    • ‘The doctor notes the techniques being used can pick up a single molecule, so false positives are a strong possibility.’
    • ‘As with all recognition problems, the issue is accuracy: Make the system very sensitive, and you will get many false positives; make the system less sensitive, and important events will slip right through the cracks.’
    • ‘Says Landolt, "The result can be a false positive - indicating a problem pest population when one doesn't exist - or a false negative - indicating no problem exists when mated females are present and laying eggs."’
    • ‘A new set of psychic problems has been produced in the past few years for women who had false positive results in a screening mammogram for cancer of the breast and who were not effectively reassured by subsequent tests showing the absence of breast cancer.’
    • ‘Experts believe the lab contracted by the DOD to conduct the tests may have triggered a "false positive" by accidentally tainting the test swab with an anthrax sample already on hand.’
    • ‘An abnormal result, whether it's a false positive or true positive, generally leads to additional testing, and it's the additional tests that could have some risk.’
    • ‘The rate of false positives was also discouraging.’
    • ‘False positives can lead to additional, more invasive tests including coronary angiography.’
    • ‘I went on to have a perfectly healthy baby boy, but the stress from getting a false positive on the quads test was the most stressful thing I've ever been through.’
    • ‘The test accurately gave a negative result for those without HIV in 99.98 percent of cases, meaning there would be only one false positive result out of every 5,000 tests.’
    • ‘Fingerprint identification systems have approached 99 percent accuracy and, perhaps more importantly, a slim 0.01 false positive rate - or only about one in 10,000 scans resulting in a misidentification.’
    • ‘If a detection technology isn't precise enough, such particles can trigger a false positive.’
    • ‘CT and MRI scans can lead to false positives and unnecessary operations, which carry the risk of complications like infections and bleeding.’
    • ‘Experiments with expensive facial-recognition devices in several airports produced so many false positives - identifying startled innocents as fugitives from justice - that the technology is no longer considered useful.’
    • ‘False positive rates on breast / prostate screenings dictate that we're spending money treating people who aren't sick.’
    • ‘This solution has proven to be greatly effective and produces few false positives.’
    • ‘Shadows, occlusions, reflections, and multiple uncontrolled light sources all increase the risk of false positives.’