Definition of passively in English:



  • 1In an accepting manner, without active response or resistance.

    ‘we don't have to sit passively by while others decide our fate’
    ‘they will not passively accept defeat’
    • ‘She does not fulfil his fantasy of a woman loyal to men or passively victimized by them.’
    • ‘He is reduced to passively observing the life teeming around him.’
    • ‘He appears to be lying low, until he can passively take advantage of the situation.’
    • ‘You have to passively hope that some reviewer notices you and plays the game.’
    • ‘As they sit passively in front of their TV sets, they are barraged with redundant images.’
    • ‘His films challenge the spectator to think about, rather than passively accept, that which is shown on the screen.’
    • ‘Amelia recalls Fielding's passively good wife in the eponymous novel.’
    • ‘They simply cannot fathom how an African-American woman could live as passively as Celie does.’
    • ‘He listens passively as his friend rambles on.’
    • ‘It proposes a numberless succession of sons passively tormented by their fathers' ghosts.’
  • 2Grammar
    Using the passive voice.

    ‘it is passively expressed that he was "carried up"’
    • ‘The only caveat with venire is that it cannot be used passively with compound tenses.’
    • ‘He taught me grammar—or, passively, grammar was taught to me.’
    • ‘Most writing authorities agree that the active voice is both more engaging and easier to read than passively constructed writing.’
    • ‘I have a habit of writing passively.’
    • ‘The present participle is often used passively.’
    • ‘Passively stated, Gaul was conquered by Caesar.’
    • ‘Many people write passively by default, as it feels more natural or academic to them.’
    • ‘The intransitive verb may be used passively with the preposition as an adverbial adjunct, as in 'I despair of success'.’
    • ‘if you've never understood what it means to write actively or passively, stick with us and learn how to turn cludgy passive sentences into bright, active ones.’
    • ‘Intransitive Italian verbs such as arrivare cannot be used passively because they do not take a direct object.’
  • 3From a transmitter or target rather than by generating a signal.

    ‘some cell phones passively receive data from geosynchronous satellites’
    • ‘It passively monitors the transmissions of a wireless LAN, computing the encryption password when enough packets have been gathered.’
    • ‘Because there's no way to trace people who are passively receiving their signal, the company has turned to a new strategy.’
    • ‘This prevents strangers from passively scanning the area and receiving your network's broadcasts.’
    • ‘He would like to be able to passively identify the various scanning tools hackers and others use to find vulnerable wireless networks.’
    • ‘This popular helper automatically builds scripts by passively observing normal system use.’
    • ‘One property that might be useful is the ability to update the table passively, requiring periodic lookups to be done in order to refresh the table.’
    • ‘A just-released website allows supporters to passively download DVD-quality video from the campaign.’
    • ‘This process does not flood the network with active scanning, but gathers and processes this information passively.’
    • ‘It constantly and passively monitors network assets for potential vulnerabilities and then alerts administrators in real time to anomalous behavior.’
    • ‘The custom software passively logs the latitude and longitude, the signal strength, the network name, and other vital stats.’
    1. 3.1 By making use of incident sunlight as an energy source.
      ‘passively heated homes’
      • ‘The temperature under the new roof is passively controlled.’
      • ‘Technologies which passively absorb the energy of the sun and have no moving components are referred to as passive solar technologies.’
      • ‘Clear or translucent doors take the captured light and passively reflect it further inside.’
      • ‘Solar energy can be exploited passively by taking heat and light from the sun directly without using any appliances to convert it to other forms of energy.’
      • ‘We passively use the heat of the sun's rays in our everyday life.’
      • ‘These walls are designed to harness the energy of the sun to passively reduce heating costs in the home.’
      • ‘Keeping the house well-insulated can make good use of the sun's warmth passively and reduce one's reliance on electricity from the city.’
      • ‘Builders today use similar methods for passively capturing solar energy.’
      • ‘Isolated gain involves utilizing solar energy to passively move heat from or to the living space using a fluid (such as water) or air by natural convection or forced convection.’
      • ‘Methods of passively collecting solar energy include solar ovens and well-planned indoor heating techniques.’