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adjective fi·nite \ˈfī-ˌnīt\

Simple Definition of finite

  • : having limits : having a limited nature

  • grammar : of or relating to a verb form that shows action that takes place at a particular time (such as the past)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of finite

  1. 1 a :  having definite or definable limits <a finite number of possibilities> b :  having a limited nature or existence <finite beings>

  2. 2 :  completely determinable in theory or in fact by counting, measurement, or thought <the finite velocity of light>

  3. 3 a :  less than an arbitrary positive integer and greater than the negative of that integer b :  having a finite number of elements <a finite set>

  4. 4 :  of, relating to, or being a verb or verb form that can function as a predicate or as the initial element of one and that is limited (as in tense, person, and number)

finite noun
finitely adverb
finiteness noun

Examples of finite in a sentence

  1. a finite number of possibilities

  2. the earth's finite supply of natural resources

  3. the finite human life span

  4. a finite verb such as is or are

Origin of finite

Middle English finit, from Latin finitus, past participle of finire

First Known Use: 15th century

FINITE Defined for Kids


adjective fi·nite \ˈfī-ˌnīt\

Definition of finite for Students

  1. :  having definite limits <I was given a finite number of choices.>

Word Root of finite

The Latin word finis, meaning “end” or “boundary,” gives us the root fin. Words from the Latin finis have something to do with ends or limits. Something final, such as the last chapter in a book, is the ending one. To confine is to put limits or boundaries around something. To finish something is to come to its end. Something finite has limits and happens only for a certain amount of time or in a certain space before it ends.

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