definitive

adjective
de·​fin·​i·​tive | \ di-ˈfi-nə-tiv How to pronounce definitive (audio) \

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

Coca-Cola North America has entered into a definitive agreement with Coca-Cola of Northern New England, Thompson said. Patrick Whittle, The Seattle Times, "Coca-Cola acquires Moxie soda," 28 Aug. 2018 Terms of Amazon’s definitive agreement to buy PillPack were not disclosed. James F. Peltz, latimes.com, "Amazon jumps into drug business with PillPack acquisition, threatening to disrupt another industry," 28 June 2018 The definitive agreement, reached Monday, includes Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, Camden; Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, Willingboro; Lourdes Medical Associates, and Lourdes Cardiology Services. Harold Brubaker, Philly.com, "Trinity Health expects a $75M to $100M loss on sale of Lourdes Health System to Virtua Health," 5 June 2018 The Supreme Court, for its part, couldn’t do much about it: Scalia died while the case was pending and the remaining justices, split down the middle, left the injunction in place without a definitive ruling. Cristian Farias, Daily Intelligencer, "The Supreme Court Would Be Crazy to Jump Into the DACA Dispute," 7 Feb. 2018 The four-page summary by Attorney General William Barr was less definitive on the question of whether Trump obstructed the probe. Jonathan Lemire, The Seattle Times, "Trump claims vindication in Mueller report, goes on attack," 25 Mar. 2019 So much so that Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur, cofounders of fashion and design website Of a Kind, have written a definitive book on the subject called Work Wife: The Power of Female Friendship to Drive Successful Businesses. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "The Secret to Having the Best Relationship With Your Work Wife," 7 Mar. 2019 The author of a definitive book on the hot dog is now covering a much bigger topic. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "New Book on the History of American Food," 22 Jan. 2018 According to the definitive book on Bean written by Skiles, who did research in Kentucky and California, the life story told in San Antonio is rife with misrepresentations, beginning with where and when he was born. John Maccormack, San Antonio Express-News, "Judge Roy Bean left a dubious legacy in San Antonio," 20 Jan. 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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Statistics for definitive

Last Updated

14 May 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 How to pronounce definitive (audio) \

Medical Definition of definitive

: fully differentiated or developed a definitive organ

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Comments on definitive

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