Definition of active in English:

active

adjective

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

    ‘I needed to change my lifestyle and become more active’
    • ‘Researchers are seeking 15 women aged 18-35, who are physically active and are on the pill.’
    • ‘Among older adults categorized as physically active, 24.7 percent engage in strength training.’
    • ‘Despite predictions of almost unbounded mobility, most people in industrialised nations are less physically active than ever before.’
    • ‘Those who are physically active between the ages of 20 and 60 have been shown to be at reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease.’
    • ‘Colourful and co-ordinated, you can use the everyday tips and moves to get yourself 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.’
    • ‘Among the more fit and active, vigorous activity is needed for additional health benefits.’
    • ‘Chuck Feeney is described by those who've met him as an active, vigorous man with the athletic physique of a former runner.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘By 2007, according to the plan, 80% of primary schoolchildren will be physically active.’
    • ‘For boys, the desire to be physically active can further impede their interest in reading.’
    • ‘In short, we were broke, and we had lost perhaps 90% of our most vigorous and active young men.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For example, the current guidelines include stronger recommendations about the need to be physically active.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If staff members have to drive a car or cart from place to place, then children may wonder why they should be physically active.’
    • ‘Being physically active also helps, a morning run, ride or swim really gets those feel good hormones pumping and keeps those cortisol levels down.’
    • ‘Here are some ways to help encourage your child to be active and get moving every day.’
    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.
      ‘active fish need a larger tank’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One captive was extremely active, continuously moving about its enclosure in search of food.’
      • ‘The light is always so atmospheric and the fish more active.’
      • ‘They actually were quite active moving around and interacting with the crowd, it looks as if they have been together for awhile.’
      • ‘I also noticed that pike were fairly active taking the odd fish off of the hook.’
      • ‘S / he is a good size, vigorously active, has all the relevant bits and bobs, and is doing just fine.’
      • ‘This is analogous to the predator also being an active forager moving frequently between patches.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Others are active hunters, preying on the ocean floor and crushing food with blunt flattened teeth.’
      • ‘These dances quickly change partners and keep campers active and moving.’
      • ‘Once again the Dukes were on active service and they soon distinguished themselves by vigorous and active patrolling the line.’
      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’
      • ‘Sure there's a lot of computer games, but there's plenty of active pursuits going on after school too.’
      • ‘Steven encourages an active social scene with evening out paint-balling, bowling and karting all paid for by the company.’
      • ‘These are busy women with very active social lives.’
      • ‘Modern day Hollywood is a diverse, vital, and active community striving to preserve the elegant buildings from its past.’
      • ‘An overwhelming 65 per cent said the way to tackle it was to maintain an active social circle.’
      • ‘Keeping busy and leading an active life are all part of the big picture for Mrs Morris.’
      • ‘A few years ago my parents started having a more active social life than I did.’
      • ‘I'm just a social drinker with a really active social calendar.’
      • ‘I have a very active social life. I have better friends than most.’
      • ‘Local WI members say their meetings - which combine socialising with education - are very active and lively.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Jobs Club has been very active and busy since it got up and running at the beginning of the year.’
      • ‘It didn't make sense for the active lifestyle of a busy family with working parents and two teenage children.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Who knows, perhaps some people like a busy, active church: but somehow wonder and reverence seem to go better with quiet.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But don't worry, I lead a very active social life and my Sunday roast dinners-for-ten are legendary!’
      • ‘With the sociological changes of the 19th century, social life became more active, giving rise to reunions and outings to the countryside.’
    3. 1.3 (of a person's mind or imagination) alert and lively.
      • ‘Inside of the child, emotions stirred and the mind was incredibly active.’
      • ‘Therefore, the reader's active mind will in a way determine his understanding of the novel.’
      • ‘It was, indeed, a confluence of active minds from various schools in Madurai district.’
      • ‘The beauty of Humphrey's work is that his mind is active on so many levels at once.’
      • ‘I kinda slumped to the ground even though my mind was active.’
      • ‘Not that I've spent a lot of time rummaging around such places, mind you, but I got me an active imagination.’
      • ‘I must admit, I do find running relaxing on a daily basis, but my mind is still active.’
      • ‘Is it accurate to say that children have active imaginations?’
      • ‘Morbid thoughts plagued her overly active imaginative mind and sent chills down her spine.’
      • ‘Standing silently in a silent room when you're low on caffine and have had less than 6 hours sleep requires an active imagination.’
      • ‘My friend also had something most of these heirs don't: a vital and active mind.’
      • ‘Now we know what had been churning in his doubtless active mind.’
      • ‘All the poems in Trouble in Mind depend on the reader's active imagination; in fact, they read as instructions for it.’
      • ‘As well as an active mind, Caroline was also very athletic.’
      • ‘Isn't it great, how kids can amuse themselves with nothing more than a climbable tree and an active imagination?’
      • ‘Their active minds constantly sought ways to be more efficient.’
      • ‘Possessing an active imagination ranks high on my list of cherished blessings.’
      • ‘Sixty-nine percent of them were using the Internet regularly, and they had very active minds.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Keeping up with current affairs and maintaining an active mind has been the key to Gladys Whitehead's long life.’
  • 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’
    • ‘We use a little motorboat to search for the crocodilians at night, when they are active.’
    • ‘The fish become more active and our plants emerge from their dormancy.’
    • ‘Bass sulking amid summer heat sense the change and big fish become more active.’
    • ‘His brother, Geer van Velde (1898 - 1977), was also a painter and likewise active mainly in France.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Feather finfish resembling a bat is active at night.’
    • ‘It is thought losses reflect a period in early mammalian history in which mammals were active mainly at night.’
    • ‘They are mainly active during the day and their gait is sideways.’
    • ‘The potato leafhopper is active during the summer months, and can cause severe yield and quality losses in alfalfa.’
    • ‘Generally, Quokkas sleep during the day, but they are very active at night.’
    • ‘‘Shoplifters are certainly more active during Christmas,’ a spokesperson said.’
    • ‘Signal crayfish become less active and move around less during the winter.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His name suggests he was born in Venice, but he was active mainly in Florence.’
    • ‘These are those who live in the areas where the fighters are active.’
    • ‘His revisionist interpretation of the Renaissance had an electrifying effect on other French scholars active during the last decade of the nineteenth century.’
    • ‘Egg-laying adults are especially active during bloom, a time period when insecticides should not be applied.’
    • ‘Spring is when many songbirds are most active, busy competing for mates, establishing breeding pairs, setting up territories.’
    • ‘Many species of hawkmoth are active at dawn and dusk when the colour of light changes considerably.’
    • ‘Aggregating in groups during the daytime, they are usually 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’
      • ‘Women, at least in the economic sphere, are as active as men, while the latter also exercise domination in the private sphere.’
      • ‘He also keeps himself fairly socially active, spearheading a charity to benefit inner-city youths of musical talent.’
      • ‘The Ministry of Environment and Forests is calling students to play an active role in environment protection.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘About a quarter were sexually active before participating in the Wise Guys program.’
      • ‘About half of all Americans age 60 and older are sexually active, according to the National Council on Aging.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In fact, it is precisely times like these that encourage students to become politically active.’
      • ‘These pastors also are politically active and engaged in civil rights.’
      • ‘‘Teens are becoming sexually active before they're ready,’ reads another result.’
      • ‘She was already an established singer at the Opera, and many other composers had family connections with male musicians active on the operatic scene.’
      • ‘They clearly targeted sexually active people with one message: If you're having sex, do it safely.’
      • ‘We believe that progress toward that end requires that the government be active and engaged in delivering those things.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He became politically active as a student and was a founder member of the Congress of Democrats.’
      • ‘The order has a large urban base, and its educated members are particularly politically active.’
      • ‘The project required the students to become active participants in the course.’
      • ‘The man has been pretty active on the social front.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I have been pretty active on the Internet in the past days, but too little time to update this blog.’
      • ‘Family centered strategies also encourage surrogate parents to become active in their grandchild's education.’
      hard-working, busy, industrious, diligent, tireless, contributing, enterprising, influential
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  • 3(of a thing) working; operative.

    ‘the old mill was active until 1960’
    • ‘He has also noted that about half the cases this year occurred during active hostilities or combat operations in the Persian Gulf.’
    • ‘The survey set out to understand the sectors where these businesses are active, where they operate, who they benefit and how they generate income.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Army clings to the belief that all active units should be ready to deploy at any time.’
    • ‘At that time, many Reserve units were flying and operating legacy aircraft that were no longer in the active force.’
    • ‘One hour before the start of active combat operations, it is recommended to begin Stage 3 of the operation.’
    • ‘I'm having to change phone numbers along with addresses, and the new number won't be active until Saturday morning.’
    • ‘Rush trained as a ship carver and operated an active workshop for more than fifty years.’
    • ‘The site, however, remained active until the end of last week.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Under the established law of armed conflict, he can civilly intern a captured combatant until the end of active hostilities.’
    • ‘The Army must continually examine how it will integrate contractors into units during active operations.’
    • ‘The website needs an update as some of the links are no longer active.’
    • ‘The yard remained active until 1957, when a fire destroyed the thatched barn and cattle yards, leaving the existing buildings.’
    • ‘I seem to remember some research that showed that different areas of the brain are active when you use the mouse and the keyboard.’
    • ‘These gauges are active today and are operated as a part of the Passaic Flood Warning System.’
    • ‘There was no trace of the medieval synagogue in Aldwark nor the Petergate synagogue, active until as recently as 1975.’
    • ‘Rational strengths of force groupings for the employment in the zone of active combat operations can be substantiated by two methods.’
    operative, working, functioning, functional, operating, operational, in action, in operation, in force, live
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    1. 3.1 (of an electrical circuit) capable of modifying its state or characteristics automatically in response to input or feedback.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The valve-off state is always active until a signal is received to switch to the valve-on mode.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 3.2 (of a volcano) currently erupting, or that has erupted within historical times.
      Often contrasted with dormant or extinct
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The active volcanoes erupt a type of rock known as basalt.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The differential diagnosis from chronic active hepatitis may present some difficult problems.’
    4. 3.4 Having a chemical or biological effect on something.
      ‘350 active ingredients have been banned from pesticides’
      • ‘It is a very active metal that reacts vigorously with oxygen in the air, catching fire spontaneously.’
      • ‘This was supposedly caused by a chemical transformation of the active ingredient, but that conclusion was disputed by other scientists.’
      • ‘But apparently they must list the reported side effects to any of the active ingredients in the medicine.’
      • ‘They then perform a crude screening of the organisms to determine if they contain novel chemicals that are biologically active.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Boron converts Vitamin D into its active form thus participating in the calcium absorption process.’
      • ‘The anoxia probably prevented active and continuous bioturbation of the sediment.’
      • ‘But up until now, the active ingredient of the drug, oseltamivir, is found in a plant, the star anise.’
  • 4Grammar
    Relating to or denoting the voice that attributes the action of a verb to the person or thing from which it logically proceeds (e.g., of the verbs in guns kill and we saw him).

    The opposite of passive
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Use active verbs and active sentences when writing your site's copy.’

noun

Grammar
  • 1An active form of a verb.

    • ‘Then there were yet more inflections of verbs, passives alongside actives, subjunctives alongside indicatives, imperatives, present and past participles, gerunds and gerundives.’
    • ‘By the way, they discuss many different kinds of bias on the part of the news agency, not just choice between actives and passives.’
    1. 1.1the active The active voice.
      • ‘Never use the passive where you can use the active.’
      • ‘Tracy has turned the passive into the active; she is a thrill seeker.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

active

/ˈæktɪv//ˈaktiv/