def·​i·​nite | \ˈde-fə-nit, ˈdef-nət\

Definition of definite 

1a : free of all ambiguity, uncertainty, or obscurity demanded a definite answer Her position on the issue was definite.

b : unquestionable, decided the quarterback was a definite hero today a definite masterpiece saw a definite improvement in her grades

2 grammar : typically designating an identified or immediately identifiable person or thing the definite article the

3 : having distinct or certain limits set definite standards for pupils to meet … the side striking the new coin is flattened and less definite.— Jed Stevenson

4a of floral organs : being constant in number, usually less than 20, and occurring in multiples of the petal number stamens definite

b : cymose a definite inflorescence

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Other Words from definite

definitely adverb
definiteness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for definite

explicit, definite, express, specific mean perfectly clear in meaning. explicit implies such verbal plainness and distinctness that there is no need for inference and no room for difficulty in understanding. explicit instructions definite stresses precise, clear statement or arrangement that leaves no doubt or indecision. the law is definite in such cases express implies both explicitness and direct and positive utterance. her express wishes specific applies to what is precisely and fully treated in detail or particular. two specific criticisms

Spelling: It's Definite NOT Definate

This word can be tricky to spell because its last syllable has that amorphous schwa sound as its vowel.

To remember that the word ends in ite and not ate you can think of a few things:

The word definite doesn't go on forever; it's finite. (Get it? deFINITE.)

The etymology of definite can also be useful in remembering the word's spelling. Definite traces back to the Latin word finire meaning "to limit, end, FINISH." Connect finish to definite and voilà: you can definitely spell definite correctly.

Examples of definite in a Sentence

We'll need a definite answer by Tuesday. The answer is a definite no. I don't know anything definite yet. The teacher sets definite standards for her students. She seems to be pretty definite about leaving. I am definite that we will win.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Doctors' groups, however, have pointed out that reports like this one don't find a definite causal relationship between payments and prescriptions. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, "New York doctors wrote more opioid prescriptions after pharma payments," 13 June 2018 Lexus’s traditionally high resale values are a definite bonus, too, which will help keep monthly lease payments in check. Malcolm Gunn,, "2018 Lexus NX," 28 June 2018 What’s left of his blond hair is set off by a bandanna, and his voice is laid-back but definite, with an ingratiating hint of a rasp. New York Times, "Review: ‘Filmworker’ Reveals Stanley Kubrick’s Perfectionism," 10 May 2018 There were some definite red flags when those things started popping up. Jeff Sanders,, "Padres' Jordan Lyles 'sharp' in sim game as he nears return," 14 July 2018 The video features a definite sponsorship by Lyft as the singer plays chauffer to the devilish twosome. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Galantis and Max Moto-Surf LA in 'Satisfied,' Hit Big On 'Mama Look At Me Now': Watch," 13 July 2018 Adjust your child's bedtime Bedtimes tend to be a lot more relaxed during the summer, and getting up early can be a definite shock to a child's system. Mary Caldwell, ajc, "6 tips to help get your kid in back-to-school mode," 12 July 2018 England's World Cup campaign has been a definite success so there is no need to make unnecessary changes to a side that is on such a role., "Why England Supporters Are Wrong to Call for Raheem Sterling to Be Dropped for Croatia WC Semi Final," 11 July 2018 While there was no full hand-holding, there was some definite hand brushing too which is just as adorable. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Shy PDA is the Sweetest Part of Their RAF Centenary Appearance," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'definite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of definite

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for definite

borrowed from Latin dēfīnītus, from past participle of dēfīnīre "to mark the limits of, determine, define"

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Statistics for definite

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for definite

The first known use of definite was in 1553

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More Definitions for definite


def·​i·​nite | \ˈde-fə-nət \

Kids Definition of definite

1 : having certain or distinct limits a definite period of time

2 : clear in meaning a definite answer

3 : unquestionable Your grades show a definite improvement.

Other Words from definite

definitely adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on definite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for definite

Spanish Central: Translation of definite

Nglish: Translation of definite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of definite for Arabic Speakers

Comments on definite

What made you want to look up definite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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