definite

adjective
def·​i·​nite | \ ˈde-fə-nit How to pronounce definite (audio) , ˈdef-nət \

Definition of definite

1a : free of all ambiguity, uncertainty, or obscurity demanded a definite answer Her position on the issue was definite.
b : unquestionable, decided the quarterback was a definite hero today a definite masterpiece saw a definite improvement in her grades
2 grammar : typically designating an identified or immediately identifiable person or thing the definite article the
3 : having distinct or certain limits set definite standards for pupils to meet … the side striking the new coin is flattened and less definite.— Jed Stevenson
4a of floral organs : being constant in number, usually less than 20, and occurring in multiples of the petal number stamens definite
b : cymose a definite inflorescence

Other Words from definite

definiteness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for definite

explicit, definite, express, specific mean perfectly clear in meaning. explicit implies such verbal plainness and distinctness that there is no need for inference and no room for difficulty in understanding. explicit instructions definite stresses precise, clear statement or arrangement that leaves no doubt or indecision. the law is definite in such cases express implies both explicitness and direct and positive utterance. her express wishes specific applies to what is precisely and fully treated in detail or particular. two specific criticisms

Spelling: It's Definite NOT Definate

This word can be tricky to spell because its last syllable has that amorphous schwa sound as its vowel.

To remember that the word ends in ite and not ate you can think of a few things:

The word definite doesn't go on forever; it's finite. (Get it? deFINITE.)

The etymology of definite can also be useful in remembering the word's spelling. Definite traces back to the Latin word finire meaning "to limit, end, FINISH." Connect finish to definite and voilà: you can definitely spell definite correctly.

Examples of definite in a Sentence

We'll need a definite answer by Tuesday. The answer is a definite no. I don't know anything definite yet. The teacher sets definite standards for her students. She seems to be pretty definite about leaving. I am definite that we will win.
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Recent Examples on the Web Of the many outcomes, one that is most definite is the rising waters of the oceans. Sulagna Chattopadhyay, Quartz, 15 Dec. 2021 While no definite signs of extraterrestrial life have surfaced yet, some people on social media beg to differ. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, 3 Sep. 2021 Nor is there any doubt that the price increases the government reported have a definite effect on household budgets. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 10 Nov. 2021 The senior ended her high school cross country career on a definite high note Saturday, placing sixth in the Division III state meet at Fortress Obetz in suburban Columbus. Joe Magill, cleveland, 6 Nov. 2021 Miller said the project could break ground in 2022, but a definite timetable has not been set. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5 Nov. 2021 Falling into the basin because the seat is raised is a definite safety hazard for the next user. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 31 Oct. 2021 Falling into the basin because the seat is raised is a definite safety hazard for the next user. Amy Dickinson, chicagotribune.com, 30 Oct. 2021 Falling into the basin because the seat is raised is a definite safety hazard for the next user. Ask Amy, oregonlive, 30 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'definite.' 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 definite

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for definite

borrowed from Latin dēfīnītus, from past participle of dēfīnīre "to mark the limits of, determine, define"

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Time Traveler for definite

Time Traveler

The first known use of definite was in 1553

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Dictionary Entries Near definite

defining moment

definite

definite article

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Statistics for definite

Last Updated

8 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Definite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/definite. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for definite

definite

adjective
def·​i·​nite | \ ˈde-fə-nət How to pronounce definite (audio) \

Kids Definition of definite

1 : having certain or distinct limits a definite period of time
2 : clear in meaning a definite answer
3 : unquestionable Your grades show a definite improvement.

Other Words from definite

definitely adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on definite

Nglish: Translation of definite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of definite for Arabic Speakers

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