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 his demolition and site restoration application submitted with the village, Schafer said redevelopment plans are not definite at this time. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A developer plans to demolish a former dry cleaners and a neighboring house in Shorewood," 5 Aug. 2019 There’s a definite intimidation factor with cooking such an expensive piece of meat. Chuck Blount,, "Wagyu an easily found, upgraded beef-eating experience," 12 Aug. 2019 In the book, his soulfulness has a more definite source. Lindsey Bahr, Detroit Free Press, "‘Art of Racing in the Rain’ heavy on sentiment, cliches," 8 Aug. 2019 That being said, within the adagio confines of Freundlich’s prestige approach — Julio Macat’s plush, stately cinematography is a definite change from Bier’s handheld-camera intimacy — the actors are sturdy docents. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore face off in the melodramatic ‘After the Wedding’," 8 Aug. 2019 Protecting the world’s remaining forests as quickly as possible is a definite no-brainer, according to Charlotte Streck, head of climate think-tank Climate Focus. Stephen Leahy, National Geographic, "World food crisis looms if carbon emissions go unchecked, UN says," 8 Aug. 2019 In the book, his soulfulness has a more definite source. Lindsey Bahr, Houston Chronicle, "‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ goes to the dogs," 7 Aug. 2019 For me as a designer, Scott has a definite point of view. Diane J. Cho,, "Willa Ford on the Event That Pivoted Her Career — and What Flip It Like Disick Costar Scott Disick Is Really Like," 2 Aug. 2019 Does removing all the definite articles in the movie's title grant instant sophistication? Peter Opaskar, Ars Technica, "What I learned about cars watching all 8 Fast & Furious movies in 4 days," 2 Aug. 2019

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

30 Aug 2019

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 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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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).


recurring in steady succession

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