Definition of definitive
1 : serving to provide a final solution or to end a situation <a definitive victory> <could not give a definitive diagnosis>
2 : authoritative and apparently exhaustive <a definitive critical biography>
3a : serving to define or specify precisely <established definitive guidelines for sentencing criminals>b : serving as a perfect example : quintessential <a definitive bourgeois> <A slow race is the definitive Leechfield competition. You win it by coming in last. — Mary Karr>
4 biology : fully differentiated or developed <a definitive organ>
5 of a postage stamp : issued as a regular stamp for the country or territory in which it is to be used
Examples of definitive in a sentence
We need a definitive answer to this question.
The court has issued a definitive ruling.
a definitive collection of the band's albums
Did You Know?
Something definitive is complete and final. A definitive example is the perfect example. A definitive answer is usually a strong yes or no. A definitive biography contains everything we'll ever need to know about someone. Ella Fitzgerald's famous 1950s recordings of American songs have even been called definitive--but no one ever wanted them to be the last.
Origin and Etymology of definitive
Middle English diffinityf, from Anglo-French diffinitive, from Latin definitivus, from definitus —see definite
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of definitive
DEFINITIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of definitive for English Language Learners
: not able to be argued about or changed : final and settled
: complete, accurate, and considered to be the best of its kind
Medical Definition of definitive
: fully differentiated or developed <a definitive organ>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up definitive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).