definitive

adjective
de·​fin·​i·​tive | \ di-ˈfi-nə-tiv \

Definition of definitive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

definitive

noun

Definition of definitive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a postage stamp issued as a regular stamp for the country or territory in which it is to be used : a definitive (see definitive entry 1 sense 5) postage stamp — compare provisional

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Other Words from definitive

Adjective

definitively adverb
definitiveness noun

Synonyms for definitive

Synonyms: Adjective

authoritative, classic, classical, magisterial

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Choose the Right Synonym for definitive

Adjective

conclusive, decisive, determinative, definitive mean bringing to an end. conclusive applies to reasoning or logical proof that puts an end to debate or questioning. conclusive evidence decisive may apply to something that ends a controversy, a contest, or any uncertainty. a decisive battle determinative adds an implication of giving a fixed character or direction. the determinative factor in the court's decision definitive applies to what is put forth as final and permanent. the definitive biography

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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.

Examples of definitive in a Sentence

Adjective

We need a definitive answer to this question. The court has issued a definitive ruling. a definitive collection of the band's albums
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Where to Drink Café Papeneiland and Café Slijterij Oosterling are definitive brown bars—not brown like hash but like old furniture. Steve King, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why We Keep Going Back to Amsterdam," 24 Dec. 2018 As the bookend to his year-long collaboration with MAC, Slay Ride also signifies the completion of an experience that Starrr treasured as both the definitive face of men in makeup and a former MAC sales associate. Sandra Song, Teen Vogue, "Patrick Starrr on His Holiday MAC Collaboration, Makeup Shaming, and Inclusivity in the Beauty World," 23 Dec. 2018 The Justices ultimately referred the case back to the lower courts for further consideration, rather than making a definitive ruling. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "A Timeline of the Harvard Affirmative Action Lawsuit," 2 Nov. 2018 Ultimately, since the potential link here is far from definitive, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labels for antipsychotics generally do not state that they should not be used in pregnancy. Korin Miller, SELF, "What to Know About Getting Pregnant If You Take Antipsychotics," 17 Jan. 2019 The Sherrill case didn’t ultimately go to the Supreme Court, so the precedent isn’t entirely definitive. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Jim Acosta vs. the Trump White House, explained," 14 Nov. 2018 And, of course, in this particular case, an accusation is definitive. Fox News, "President Trump talks Kavanaugh controversy, Russia probe," 20 Sep. 2018 Mission Accomplished!’’ The assault came despite the lack of a definitive independent finding that chemical weapons were used or who had deployed them. Carol Morello, BostonGlobe.com, "Haley warns that US forces ‘locked and loaded’ if Syria stages another chemical attack," 14 Apr. 2018 Though not definitive proof, this evidence is highly suggestive that an ancient capital indeed once stood there. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break: Finding Pharaoh and spotting looters from orbit," 1 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'definitive.' 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 definitive

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1951, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for definitive

Adjective

Middle English diffynytif, borrowed from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French diffinitif "final, decisive," borrowed from Medieval Latin dēfīnītīvus, diffīnītīvus, going back to Latin dēfīnītīvus "involving definition," from dēfīnītus "limited, clearly defined" (past participle of dēfīnīre "to mark the limits of, determine, define") + -īvus -ive

Noun

derivative of definitive entry 1

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Last Updated

5 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for definitive

The first known use of definitive was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for definitive

definitive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of definitive

: not able to be argued about or changed : final and settled
: complete, accurate, and considered to be the best of its kind

definitive

adjective
de·​fin·​i·​tive | \ di-ˈfin-ət-iv \

Medical Definition of definitive

: fully differentiated or developed a definitive organ

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