Positive law

Positive law
Positive Pos"i*tive, a. [OE. positif, F. positif, L. positivus. See {Position}.] 1. Having a real position, existence, or energy; existing in fact; real; actual; -- opposed to negative. ``Positive good.'' --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

2. Derived from an object by itself; not dependent on changing circumstances or relations; absolute; -- opposed to relative; as, the idea of beauty is not positive, but depends on the different tastes individuals. [1913 Webster]

3. Definitely laid down; explicitly stated; clearly expressed; -- opposed to implied; as, a positive declaration or promise. [1913 Webster]

Positive words, that he would not bear arms against King Edward's son. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

4. Hence: Not admitting of any doubt, condition, qualification, or discretion; not dependent on circumstances or probabilities; not speculative; compelling assent or obedience; peremptory; indisputable; decisive; as, positive instructions; positive truth; positive proof. ``'T is positive 'gainst all exceptions.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

5. Prescribed by express enactment or institution; settled by arbitrary appointment; said of laws. [1913 Webster]

In laws, that which is natural bindeth universally; that which is positive, not so. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

6. Fully assured; confident; certain; sometimes, overconfident; dogmatic; overbearing; -- said of persons. [1913 Webster]

Some positive, persisting fops we know, That, if once wrong, will needs be always. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

7. Having the power of direct action or influence; as, a positive voice in legislation. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

8. (Photog.) Corresponding with the original in respect to the position of lights and shades, instead of having the lights and shades reversed; as, a positive picture. [1913 Webster]

9. (Chem.) (a) Electro-positive. (b) Hence, basic; metallic; not acid; -- opposed to {negative}, and said of metals, bases, and basic radicals. [1913 Webster]

10. (Mach. & Mech.) (a) Designating, or pertaining to, a motion or device in which the movement derived from a driver, or the grip or hold of a restraining piece, is communicated through an unyielding intermediate piece or pieces; as, a claw clutch is a positive clutch, while a friction clutch is not. (b) Designating, or pertaining to, a device giving a to-and-fro motion; as, a positive dobby. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

11. (Vehicles) Designating a method of steering or turning in which the steering wheels move so that they describe concentric arcs in making a turn, to insure freedom from side slip or harmful resistance. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

{Positive crystals} (Opt.), a doubly refracting crystal in which the index of refraction for the extraordinary ray is greater than for the ordinary ray, and the former is refracted nearer to the axis than the latter, as quartz and ice; -- opposed to negative crystal, or one in which this characteristic is reversed, as Iceland spar, tourmaline, etc.

{Positive degree} (Gram.), that state of an adjective or adverb which denotes simple quality, without comparison or relation to increase or diminution; as, wise, noble.

{Positive electricity} (Elec), the kind of electricity which is developed when glass is rubbed with silk, or which appears at that pole of a voltaic battery attached to the plate that is not attacked by the exciting liquid; -- formerly called {vitreous electricity}; -- opposed to {negative electricity}.

{Positive eyepiece}. See under {Eyepiece}.

{Positive law}. See {Municipal law}, under {Law}.

{Positive motion} (Mach.), motion which is derived from a driver through unyielding intermediate pieces, or by direct contact, and not through elastic connections, nor by means of friction, gravity, etc.; definite motion.

{Positive philosophy}. See {Positivism}.

{Positive pole}. (a) (Elec.) The pole of a battery or pile which yields positive or vitreous electricity; -- opposed to {negative pole}. (b) (Magnetism) The north pole. [R.]

{Positive quantity} (Alg.), an affirmative quantity, or one affected by the sign plus [+].

{Positive rotation} (Mech.), left-handed rotation.

{Positive sign} (Math.), the sign [+] denoting plus, or more, or addition. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • positive law — positive law/positive theology …   Philosophy dictionary

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  • positive law — customary law or law enacted by governmental authority (as distinguished from natural law). [1350 1400; ME] * * * …   Universalium

  • positive law — noun Date: 14th century law established or recognized by governmental authority compare natural law …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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  • positive — I (confident) adjective assured, believing, certain, certus, convinced, decided, decisive, definite, determined, fully convinced, insistent, perfectly sure, persuaded, reassured, satisfied, secure, self assured, self confident, sure, trusting,… …   Law dictionary

  • law — / lȯ/ n [Old English lagu, of Scandinavian origin] 1: a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority: as a: a command or provision enacted by a legislature see also statute 1 b:… …   Law dictionary

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