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.’
    • ‘They simply cannot fathom how an African-American woman could live as passively as Celie does.’
    • ‘Amelia recalls Fielding's passively good wife in the eponymous novel.’
    • ‘He is reduced to passively observing the life teeming around him.’
    • ‘You have to passively hope that some reviewer notices you and plays the game.’
    • ‘He appears to be lying low, until he can passively take advantage of the situation.’
    • ‘He listens passively as his friend rambles on.’
    • ‘It proposes a numberless succession of sons passively tormented by their fathers' ghosts.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2Grammar
    Using the passive voice.

    ‘it is passively expressed that he was "carried up"’
    • ‘The present participle is often used passively.’
    • ‘The only caveat with venire is that it cannot be used passively with compound tenses.’
    • ‘The intransitive verb may be used passively with the preposition as an adverbial adjunct, as in 'I despair of success'.’
    • ‘Intransitive Italian verbs such as arrivare cannot be used passively because they do not take a direct object.’
    • ‘Passively stated, Gaul was conquered by Caesar.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Many people write passively by default, as it feels more natural or academic to them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He taught me grammar—or, passively, grammar was taught to me.’
  • 3From a transmitter or target rather than by generating a signal.

    ‘some cell phones passively receive data from geosynchronous satellites’
    • ‘A just-released website allows supporters to passively download DVD-quality video from the campaign.’
    • ‘It passively monitors the transmissions of a wireless LAN, computing the encryption password when enough packets have been gathered.’
    • ‘He would like to be able to passively identify the various scanning tools hackers and others use to find vulnerable wireless networks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This popular helper automatically builds scripts by passively observing normal system use.’
    • ‘The custom software passively logs the latitude and longitude, the signal strength, the network name, and other vital stats.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 3.1 By making use of incident sunlight as an energy source.
      ‘passively heated homes’
      • ‘Builders today use similar methods for passively capturing solar energy.’
      • ‘The temperature under the new roof is passively controlled.’
      • ‘Methods of passively collecting solar energy include solar ovens and well-planned indoor heating techniques.’
      • ‘Technologies which passively absorb the energy of the sun and have no moving components are referred to as passive solar technologies.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These walls are designed to harness the energy of the sun to passively reduce heating costs in the home.’
      • ‘We passively use the heat of the sun's rays in our everyday life.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Clear or translucent doors take the captured light and passively reflect it further inside.’