definitive

adjective
de·​fin·​i·​tive | \ di-ˈfi-nə-tiv How to pronounce definitive (audio) \

Definition of definitive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : serving to provide a final solution or to end a situation a definitive victory could not give a definitive diagnosis
2 : authoritative and apparently exhaustive a definitive critical biography
3a : serving to define or specify precisely established definitive guidelines for sentencing criminals
b : serving as a perfect example : quintessential a definitive bourgeois A slow race is the definitive Leechfield competition. You win it by coming in last.— Mary Karr
4 biology : fully differentiated or developed a definitive organ
5 of a postage stamp : issued as a regular stamp for the country or territory in which it is to be used

definitive

noun

Definition of definitive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a postage stamp issued as a regular stamp for the country or territory in which it is to be used : a definitive (see definitive entry 1 sense 5) postage stamp — compare provisional

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Other Words from definitive

Adjective

definitively adverb
definitiveness noun

Synonyms for definitive

Synonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for definitive

Adjective

conclusive, decisive, determinative, definitive mean bringing to an end. conclusive applies to reasoning or logical proof that puts an end to debate or questioning. conclusive evidence decisive may apply to something that ends a controversy, a contest, or any uncertainty. a decisive battle determinative adds an implication of giving a fixed character or direction. the determinative factor in the court's decision definitive applies to what is put forth as final and permanent. the definitive biography

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Something definitive is complete and final. A definitive example is the perfect example. A definitive answer is usually a strong yes or no. A definitive biography contains everything we'll ever need to know about someone. Ella Fitzgerald's famous 1950s recordings of American songs have even been called definitive--but no one ever wanted them to be the last.

Examples of definitive in a Sentence

Adjective We need a definitive answer to this question. The court has issued a definitive ruling. a definitive collection of the band's albums
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In the past, some of Netflix's biggest rivals in media have handled controversy around its stars by taking definitive action. Frank Pallotta, CNN, 21 Oct. 2021 There is no definitive timeline, but Engelbert hopes to have more information available during the 2022 season. BostonGlobe.com, 12 Oct. 2021 Scott Nacheman, a structures specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said there is not yet a definitive timeline for when the remaining building will be torn down, but a decision could take weeks, at best. Angie Dimichele, orlandosentinel.com, 2 July 2021 Scott Nacheman, a structures specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said there is not yet a definitive timeline for when the remaining building will be torn down, but a decision could take weeks, at best. Angie Dimichele, sun-sentinel.com, 2 July 2021 Miami County Commissioner Rob Roberts could not offer a definitive timeline for further public discussions or a decision. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 28 June 2021 Short of taking definitive action, simply making a list of things that need to be done can help relieve stress. Svetlana Whitener, Forbes, 15 June 2021 In a press conference May 11, US energy secretary Jennifer Granholm said the pipeline is expected to be operational by the weekend, and that Colonial will announce a definitive timeline by the end of May 12. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, 12 May 2021 What’s prompted such swift, definitive action from other countries is the potential for the India outbreak to knock the world back from what feels like a turning point in the pandemic. Biman Mukherji, Fortune, 28 Apr. 2021

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1951, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for definitive

Adjective

Middle English diffynytif, borrowed from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French diffinitif "final, decisive," borrowed from Medieval Latin dēfīnītīvus, diffīnītīvus, going back to Latin dēfīnītīvus "involving definition," from dēfīnītus "limited, clearly defined" (past participle of dēfīnīre "to mark the limits of, determine, define") + -īvus -ive

Noun

derivative of definitive entry 1

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Time Traveler for definitive

Time Traveler

The first known use of definitive was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near definitive

definition

definitive

definitive callus

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Last Updated

27 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Definitive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/definitive. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for definitive

definitive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of definitive

: not able to be argued about or changed : final and settled
: complete, accurate, and considered to be the best of its kind

definitive

adjective
de·​fin·​i·​tive | \ di-ˈfin-ət-iv How to pronounce definitive (audio) \

Medical Definition of definitive

: fully differentiated or developed a definitive organ

More from Merriam-Webster on definitive

Nglish: Translation of definitive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of definitive for Arabic Speakers

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