fi·nite | \ˈfī-ˌnīt \

Definition of finite 

1a : having definite or definable limits a finite number of possibilities

b : having a limited nature or existence finite beings

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

3a : less than an arbitrary positive integer and greater than the negative of that integer

b : having a finite number of elements a finite set

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"

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Other Words from finite

finite noun
finitely adverb
finiteness noun

Examples of finite in a Sentence

a finite number of possibilities the earth's finite supply of natural resources the finite human life span a finite verb such as “is” or “are”
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Recent Examples on the Web

The clip sees Hogan pour over the emotional rubble that remains after a finite romance. Abby Jones, Billboard, "THE WLDLFE Persist With Multi-Faceted 'Towel' Vertical Video: Exclusive Premiere," 30 May 2018 And the amount of money the government can spend on health care is finite. Sally C. Pipes, Fortune, "Why Does the Left Want Universal Health Care? Britain’s Is on Its Deathbed," 10 July 2018 Several departments and agencies turned to rainy-day funds to cover operations, although those reserves were finite. Philip Elliott, Time, "The Shutdown Ended Because Democrats Lost Their Spine," 22 Jan. 2018 And that means the number of available numbers is finite. Catharine Hamm,, "Those four-digit flight designations? Their days may be numbered," 15 Jan. 2018 Infinity War doesn’t undo Ragnarok, but positions it as a prologue to a reality where plans don’t always come to fruition and the ability to escape is finite. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Boundless Potential of Thor," 6 May 2018 The finite number of professional sports teams ensures that. Jordan Guskey, Indianapolis Star, "Local broadcaster Pat Boylan is a rising star," 15 June 2018 In the late nineteenth century, many saw physical energy as a finite resource that had to be carefully parceled out, not a power that could be renewed through exercise. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Wheel, the Woman, and the Human Body," 6 July 2018 With finite resources to catch athletes who are cheating and deter any who might be considering it, Usada opts for testing that is reasonable if not random. Karen Crouse, New York Times, "For Tennis Players, Numbers in Antidoping Program Don’t Add Up," 3 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of finite

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for finite

Middle English, borrowed from Latin fīnītus "specific, definite, having bounds or limits," from past participle of fīnīre "to mark out the boundaries, limit, put an end to, bring to a close" — more at finish entry 1

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Statistics for finite

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for finite

The first known use of finite was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for finite



English Language Learners Definition of finite

: 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)


fi·nite | \ˈfī-ˌnīt \

Kids Definition of finite

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on finite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for finite

Spanish Central: Translation of finite

Nglish: Translation of finite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of finite for Arabic Speakers

Comments on finite

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a state of commotion or excitement

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