finite

play
adjective fi·nite \ˈfī-ˌnīt\

Definition of finite

  1. 1a :  having definite or definable limits a finite number of possibilitiesb :  having a limited nature or existence finite beings

  2. 2 :  completely determinable in theory or in fact by counting, measurement, or thought the finite velocity of light

  3. 3a :  less than an arbitrary positive integer and greater than the negative of that integerb :  having a finite number of elements a finite set

  4. 4 :  of, relating to, or being a verb or verb form that can function as a predicate or as the initial element of one and that is limited (as in tense, person, and number) finite verbs such as “is” and “are”

finite

noun

finitely

adverb

finiteness

noun

Examples of finite in a Sentence

  1. a finite number of possibilities

  2. the earth's finite supply of natural resources

  3. the finite human life span

  4. a finite verb such as is or are

Recent Examples of finite from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'finite'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of finite

Middle English finit, from Latin finitus, past participle of finire —see 1finish


FINITE Defined for English Language Learners

finite

play
adjective

Definition of finite for English Language Learners

  • : having limits : having a limited nature

  • grammar : of or relating to a verb form that shows action that takes place at a particular time (such as the past)


FINITE Defined for Kids

finite

play
adjective fi·nite \ˈfī-ˌnīt\

Definition of finite for Students

  1. :  having definite limits I was given a finite number of choices.

Word Root of finite

The Latin word finis, meaning “end” or “boundary,” gives us the root fin. Words from the Latin finis have something to do with ends or limits. Something final, such as the last chapter in a book, is the ending one. To confine is to put limits or boundaries around something. To finish something is to come to its end. Something finite has limits and happens only for a certain amount of time or in a certain space before it ends.



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