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 Bach said there is no definite date for when these restrictions will be lifted. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "Many Phoenix area parks, city halls reopen as stay-at-home order expires. Here are city-by-city details," 15 May 2020 No definite date has been set for a return, but officials are hoping for some time in June. Victor Mather, New York Times, "Zlatan Ibrahimovic Returns to Milan; Fans Return to Taiwan Baseball," 11 May 2020 The figures provide an initial glimpse of the pandemic's financial impact to the city's events industry, but are by no means definite. Amelia Pak-harvey, Indianapolis Star, "How coronavirus hit operating income for Lucas Oil Stadium, Indiana Convention Center," 8 May 2020 Most of us had grown up playing in Little League against each other, but there were definite class differences. The Root, "What Does It Mean to Have a 'Gentrified' Martin Luther King, Jr. When Some Blacks Are the Gentrifiers?," 15 Jan. 2018 So now there is a definite difference in how Latin music is seen and consumed around the world. Leila Cobo, Billboard, "From the 'Despacito' Effect to Educated Bets: 5 Take-Aways from Jorge Mejia's Midem Q&A," 9 June 2019 Despite keeping the dress, Galavis is a definite thing of the past for Crawley. Alexis Reliford,, "Yes, Clare Crawley Kept The Dress From Her Empowering Breakup With Juan Pablo Galavis," 5 Apr. 2020 The only person who’s a definite at this point is the MyPillow guy. Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, "Trump Launches “Celebrity Coronavirus Briefing” with Gary Busey and Dennis Rodman," 2 Apr. 2020 Still, there's a definite cool factor to iPadOS even now. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "OK Computer: The iPad Pro 2020 review," 26 Mar. 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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Definite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 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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