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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Design is a definite highlight even by Alfa's elevated standards of sartorial evidence. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 5 May 2022 The goal is to have the new stations built and occupied some time in 2024, although a definite timeline is still pending. Sue Kiesewetter, The Enquirer, 4 May 2022 Plus, two couples — Hunter Parr and Alexis Maloney, and Nate Ruggles and Lauren Pounds — got engaged right before the trial marriages began, throwing a definite wrench into the process. Ryan Gajewski, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 May 2022 While there's not a lot of definite answers to juicy questions, the best parts offer a fascinating examination of the darker aspects of Monroe's story. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2022 While McArthur has a definite presence, the angular charisma, perhaps, of an avant-garde guitar hero like Tom Verlaine, Twist seems even more comfortable in the spotlight. Sam Lipsyte, Harper’s Magazine , 27 Apr. 2022 If name recognition counted for anything, Bolton had a definite edge. Christopher Arnott,, 29 Mar. 2022 Mediocre contrast is a definite drawback, especially considering the price point. Gabrielle Hondorp, Popular Mechanics, 22 Apr. 2022 There was a definite need to swap out [00:16:00] and modernize computer systems. Leila Atassi, cleveland, 19 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near definite

defining moment


definite article

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Statistics for definite

Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Definite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on definite

Nglish: Translation of definite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of definite for Arabic Speakers


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