From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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.
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   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.
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   3. Definitely laid down; explicitly stated; clearly
      expressed; -- opposed to implied; as, a positive
      declaration or promise.
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            Positive words, that he would not bear arms against
            King Edward's son.                    --Bacon.
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   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."
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   5. Prescribed by express enactment or institution; settled by
      arbitrary appointment; said of laws.
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            In laws, that which is natural bindeth universally;
            that which is positive, not so.       --Hooker.
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   6. Fully assured; confident; certain; sometimes,
      overconfident; dogmatic; overbearing; -- said of persons.
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            Some positive, persisting fops we know,
            That, if once wrong, will needs be always. --Pope.
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   7. Having the power of direct action or influence; as, a
      positive voice in legislation. --Swift.
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   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.
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   9. (Chem.)
      (a) Electro-positive.
      (b) Hence, basic; metallic; not acid; -- opposed to
          negative, and said of metals, bases, and basic
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   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.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Positive \Pos"i*tive\, n.
   1. That which is capable of being affirmed; reality. --South.
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   2. That which settles by absolute appointment.
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   3. (Gram.) The positive degree or form.
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   4. (Photog.) A picture in which the lights and shades
      correspond in position with those of the original, instead
      of being reversed, as in a negative. --R. Hunt.
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   5. (Elec.) The positive plate of a voltaic or electrolytic
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