def·​i·​nite | \ ˈde-fə-nit How to pronounce definite (audio) , 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

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 In a series as murder-happy as Grey’s Anatomy, that wasn’t always a definite upon learning of Chambers’ exit. Ariana Romero,, "Grey’s Anatomy Left The Door Open For Karev To Come Back," 6 Mar. 2020 Nothing is guaranteed, but this team seems like a definite threat to make a deep tournament run. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "Playing for 'Superman': Cancer can't stop Homestead's coach, whose team just keeps winning," 7 Jan. 2020 That’s a definite possibility, but the offender could actually be your brain. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "How to Know If Your Abdominal Pain Is Physical or Mental," 16 Feb. 2019 Hurns, released by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Tuesday, would be a definite threat to No. Clarence E. Hill Jr., star-telegram, "Cowboys clustering of free agent visits at receiver, offensive line part of plan | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 21 Mar. 2018 If last night's nostalgic address in Des Moines, Iowa was a pivot from what's nearly past (the primaries) to what's still in the future (the general election), this week's three-day Florida jaunt is a definite step in November's direction. Newsweek, "Analysis," 14 Mar. 2018 The eating contest is a definite highlight of the event. Annie Alleman, Lake County News-Sun, "Burn baby burn at Highwood Inferno Fest," 12 June 2019 Arnold Schwarzenegger, the old Hummer's most loyal fan, converted one of his H1s to battery-electric power in 2017, but that's just about the last Hummer news that has been definite. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, "Hummer Reportedly Coming Back in 2022 as Electric GMC Pickup," 10 Jan. 2020 There has also been talk of a constitutional amendment to create a graduated income tax or an initiative or bond proposal to fix the roads, though neither appears to be definite., "A second term for Donald Trump? Michigan is at the center of the political universe," 9 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for definite

Time Traveler

The first known use of definite was in 1553

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Statistics for definite

Last Updated

28 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Definite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for definite


def·​i·​nite | \ ˈde-fə-nət How to pronounce definite (audio) \

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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Comments on definite

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