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"

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”
Recent Examples on the Web Predictably, as in so many other areas of the economy today, the torrent of global demand has spiked prices for the finite exist- ing supply of top anime titles and production partners. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 May 2022 The black hole has no finite size, but there is this abstract size of the event horizon, which is the last point that light can escape. Corinne Purtillstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2022 In a race for finite reserves of care, aid groups have warned of the perils of donor fatigue for the world’s most vulnerable. New York Times, 24 Apr. 2022 Also unlike a Picasso, most songs and artists have finite periods of popularity, and thus value; even the biggest decline precipitously as their core audience approaches retirement age. Jem Aswad, Variety, 21 Apr. 2022 One key reason is that gold is a scarce, finite resource. Robert Samuels | For Iron Monk Solutions, The Salt Lake Tribune, 18 Apr. 2022 But those programs, like the ones offering rebates for cars, have been largely funded by finite sources, such as $11.25 million the state received from a 2017 settlement of the Volkswagen diesel emissions fraud case. Taylor Dolven,, 9 Apr. 2022 Shell wanted to discover more about this Tolkienesque-sounding entity and immerses herself in its story: from being cut down in 1965 to the hunt for any remaining stashes of the precious (and finite) material today. Longreads, 6 Apr. 2022 The three events occupy the past, the finite present, and the unlimited future. James Wood, The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for finite

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

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finite canon

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Finite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for finite


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

Kids Definition of finite

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

More from Merriam-Webster on finite

Nglish: Translation of finite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of finite for Arabic Speakers


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