fi·​nite | \ ˈfī-ˌnīt How to pronounce finite (audio) \

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 number of connections and neurons was thought to be finite. Samantha Boardman, Marie Claire, "Can People Really Change?," 26 Mar. 2019 Both filmmaking and entertainment journalism are ruled by fierce competition for a finite number of jobs, a situation that shows no signs of abating anytime soon. Justin Chang,, "We need more diversity in film criticism, but 'Who is this movie for?' is the wrong question to ask," 20 June 2018 At age 40, Don has a finite window for his body to withstand peak performance. Lindsay Crouse, New York Times, "This Man Expects to Run a 2:50 in the Boston Marathon on Monday," 12 Apr. 2018 But with oil resources finite and future prices uncertain, the need for Kuwait to prepare for the future is clear. Eoghan Macguire, CNN, "Can Kuwait's delivery heroes inspire startup scene?," 2 June 2018 Crosshairs can pinpoint temperature readings to finite spots. Andrew Northshield, Popular Mechanics, "Firefighter Reviews New Thermal-Imaging Camera," 21 Nov. 2018 Loyalty programs are widely used in the airline industry where a handful of carriers compete intensely for a finite group of passengers. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Lyft planning to introduce a rewards program for riders," 12 Nov. 2018 Having proved herself in television, she is excited by the challenge of working within the finite story structure of a film, with no untidy open-endedness. David Kamp, WSJ, "Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a Powerhouse on the Rise," 5 Nov. 2018 The Paris climate goals mean the world has to stay within a finite carbon budget. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "This Norwegian Teen Is Fighting Her Government on Arctic Oil Drilling," 4 Oct. 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

18 May 2019

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Time Traveler for finite

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

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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 How to pronounce finite (audio) \

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

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