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 In contrast with people who are still adding to their portfolios, retirees’ assets are a finite resource. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, "Your retirement is close. Here’s how to ride the stock market roller coaster.," 3 Aug. 2020 When trail cams first debuted, there were long recovery times due to a finite amount of image storage space. Popular Science, "How to pick the right wildlife trail camera," 2 Aug. 2020 One thing that may make (1) more reasonable here is that there are network effects around social products and a finite number of different social mechanics to invent. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Zuckerberg wrote “Instagram can hurt us” days before acquisition," 29 July 2020 The Verge's Sean Hollister explains the kind of falls and the scratches the Gorilla Glass Victus will survive make up a finite group. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Corning's Toughest Gorilla Glass Ever Is a Godsend for Your Phone," 24 July 2020 There is a yawning discontinuity between zero size and any finite object. Quanta Magazine, "Why Our Perpetual Energy Puzzle Fails," 22 May 2020 The finite resources have forced officials to prioritize testing for health care providers, first responders and serious cases requiring hospitalization. Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post, "Colorado records 98 coronavirus-related deaths as COVID-19 hospitalizations push past 700," 2 Apr. 2020 Considering the finite number of tests, which individuals involved with a college sports team should take them? Nathan Baird, cleveland, "As college football confronts COVID-19 testing, surges unrelated to athletics may pose the biggest threat," 26 June 2020 The memory only has a finite amount of times it can be programmed and erased, yet Tesla's system writes to that memory every day. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "NHTSA Investigating Tesla Model S Touchscreen Unit Problems," 24 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for finite

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for finite

Last Updated

11 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Finite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce finite (audio)

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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