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 Put aside some of the early problems, notably Gleyber Torres struggling defensively at shortstop and the Yankees struggling to hit with runners in scoring position, there was a definite feel good moment Wednesday. Larry Fleisher, Forbes, "Jameson Taillon’s Return From A Second Tommy John Surgery Highlights An Otherwise Frustrating Night For The New York Yankees," 8 Apr. 2021 There’s never a definite answer, because compromise is inevitable where relationships are concerned. Jon Freeman, Rolling Stone, "Watch Miranda Lambert’s Acoustic ‘Settling Down’," 2 Apr. 2021 Milwaukee Brewers star leftfielder Christian Yelich sat out his fourth consecutive game Friday night with an ongoing back issue but manager Craig Counsell said there were definite signs of progress being made. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Back issue forces Christian Yelich to miss fourth consecutive game but there are signs of progress," 17 Apr. 2021 There has not been any definite link made between the two cases, but police are investigating all leads, the department said in a news release. Dallas News, "Police asking for public’s help identifying suspect who sexually assaulted woman in Denton," 23 Dec. 2020 All but 14 of those claims were rejected after contact tracers could not establish a definite link between the exposure and the job, county officials said. Washington Post, "Fairfax firefighters routinely denied workers’ comp after coronavirus infections, union says," 19 Dec. 2020 One thing is definite: If the sounds are too loud, using a sleep machine or app will damage your hearing. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "The truth about white (and pink and brown) noise for sleep," 18 Mar. 2021 The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority has been in communication with the city on potential detours, if needed, but has not announced any definite plans, said spokesman Richard Crawford. Tim Harlow, Star Tribune, "Metro Transit, other agencies prepare for Chauvin trial," 5 Mar. 2021 An additional 46% have considered resuming travel in the near future, with no definite plans. Ali Shahbaz, Forbes, "Surprising Details You Can’t Miss About Pandemic Air Travel In 2021," 2 Mar. 2021

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

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Definite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on definite

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