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definite

[def-uh-nit]
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adjective
  1. clearly defined or determined; not vague or general; fixed; precise; exact: a definite quantity; definite directions.
  2. having fixed limits; bounded with precision: a definite area.
  3. positive; certain; sure: It is definite that he will take the job.
  4. defining; limiting.
  5. Botany. (of an inflorescence) determinate.

Origin of definite

1520–30; < Latin dēfīnītus limited, precise, past participle of dēfīnīre; see define, -ite2
Related formsdef·i·nite·ness, nounnon·def·i·nite, adjectivenon·def·i·nite·ly, adverbnon·def·i·nite·ness, nounqua·si-def·i·nite, adjectivequa·si-def·i·nite·ly, adverbsem·i·def·i·nite, adjectivesem·i·def·i·nite·ly, adverbsem·i·def·i·nite·ness, nounun·def·i·nite, adjectiveun·def·i·nite·ly, adverbun·def·i·nite·ness, noun
Can be confuseddefinite definitive

Synonyms

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1. specific, particular. 2. well-defined.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for definiteness

Historical Examples

  • It can hardly help the definiteness of a meaning: is it therefore to be disregarded?

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald

  • Sergius sternly declined, but was horrified by the definiteness of his desire.

    Father Sergius

    Leo Tolstoy

  • It comes from the very crispness and definiteness with which he sees things.

    My Contemporaries In Fiction

    David Christie Murray

  • On such a mysterious subject, definiteness is neither to be expected nor desired.

  • The natural feelings of the people lack purpose and definiteness.


British Dictionary definitions for definiteness

definite

adjective
  1. clearly defined; exact; explicit
  2. having precise limits or boundaries
  3. known for certain; sureit is definite that they have won
  4. botany
    1. denoting a type of growth in which the main stem ends in a flower, as in a cymose inflorescence; determinate
    2. (esp of flower parts) limited or fixed in number in a given species
Derived Formsdefiniteness, noundefinitude (dɪˈfɪnɪˌtjuːd), noun

Word Origin

C15: from Latin dēfīnītus limited, distinct; see define
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for definiteness

definite

adj.

1550s, from Latin definitus "defined, bounded, limited," past participle of definire (see define). Definite means "defined, clear, precise, unmistakable;" definitive means "having the character of finality."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper