1

definitive

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

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
3 a :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

definitively

adverb

definitiveness

noun

Examples of definitive in a Sentence

  1. We need a definitive answer to this question.

  2. The court has issued a definitive ruling.

  3. a definitive collection of the band's albums

Recent Examples of definitive from the Web

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.

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

Synonym Discussion of definitive

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

2

definitive

noun

Definition of definitive

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

Origin and Etymology of definitive


DEFINITIVE Defined for English Language Learners

definitive

adjective

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 Dictionary

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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