infinitesimal was our Word of the Day on 10/09/2014. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of infinitesimal in a Sentence
an infinitesimal moment in time
a soft drink with only an infinitesimal amount of caffeine
Recent Examples of infinitesimal from the Web
Assuming Boogie keeps his ego in check—and the Warriors’ culture seems to do a good job of that—the margin of error for this team went from small to infinitesimal.
For the masses of aspiring players, whose chances of succeeding are infinitesimal, the costs are human and in many cases quite brutal.
After all, as others have pointed out, dockless bike graveyards are infinitesimal compared to their motor-vehicle counterparts.
In fact, the film industry, despite its very high cultural profile, is an almost infinitesimal factor in the states $2.6 trillion economy, and not even very important in Southern California.
According to the Red Cross Society of China, the world’s most populous nation is home to roughly 8 million people of short stature—meaning that the Kingdom only houses an infinitesimal proportion.
The negative health effects of DEET have been shown to be infinitesimal over billions of uses and a human lifetime of use.
Two parallel lines, forever side by side yet forever apart - The space between them infinitesimalyet infinite.
According to the theory, inflation stretched infinitesimal quantum fluctuations in those first moments to extragalactic size.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'infinitesimal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
What is the origin of infinitesimal?
Infinite, as you probably know, means "endless" or "extending indefinitely." It is ultimately from Latin infinitus, the opposite of finitus, meaning "finite." The notion of smallness in infinitesimal derives from the mathematical concept that a quantity can be divided endlessly; no matter how small, it can be subdivided into yet smaller fractions, or "infinitesimals." The concept was still in its infancy in 1710 when Irish philosopher George Berkeley observed that some people "assert there are infinitesimals of infinitesimals of infinitesimals, etc., without ever coming to an end." He used the adjective in a mathematical sense, too, referring to "infinitesimal parts of finite lines." Less than a quarter century later, the adjective had acquired a general sense applicable to anything too small to be measured.
Origin and Etymology of infinitesimal
astronomical (also astronomic), colossal, cosmic, elephantine, enormous, giant, gigantic, herculean, heroic, huge, immense, mammoth, massive, monster, monstrous, monumental, mountainous, prodigious, titanic, tremendous;
big, bulky, bumper, considerable, extensive, good, goodly, grand, great, gross, handsome, hefty, hulking, jumbo, king-size (or king-sized), large, largish, major, outsize (also outsized), overgrown, overscale (or overscaled), oversize (or oversized), sizable (or sizeable), substantial, super, whacking, whopping;
INFINITESIMAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of infinitesimal for English Language Learners
: extremely small
INFINITESIMAL Defined for Kids
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