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[fahy-nahyt] /ˈfaɪ naɪt/
having bounds or limits; not infinite; measurable.
  1. (of a set of elements) capable of being completely counted.
  2. not infinite or infinitesimal.
  3. not zero.
subject to limitations or conditions, as of space, time, circumstances, or the laws of nature:
man's finite existence on earth.
something that is finite.
Origin of finite
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin fīnītus, past participle of fīnīre to stop, limit. See fine1, -ite2
Related forms
finitely, adverb
finiteness, noun
nonfinite, adjective, noun
nonfinitely, adverb
nonfiniteness, noun
superfinite, adjective
superfinitely, adverb
superfiniteness, noun
unfinite, adjective
1. bounded, limited, circumscribed, restricted. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for finiteness
Historical Examples
  • For finiteness and nothingness are identical; finiteness is only a euphemism for nothingness.

    The Essence of Christianity Ludwig Feuerbach
  • Infinitude is immediately involved in unity, and finiteness in plurality.

    The Essence of Christianity Ludwig Feuerbach
  • It is only a sense of the poverty of finiteness that gives a sense of the bliss of infiniteness.

    The Essence of Christianity Ludwig Feuerbach
  • What it proves is not the finiteness of God, but the littleness of a human intellect.

    Theism Robert Flint
  • It is uniform and simple, free from all alloy, and its very infiniteness is like finiteness.

    Woman Magdeleine Marx
  • What it proves is not the finiteness of God, but the littleness of man.

    A Candid Examination of Theism George John Romanes
  • The finiteness of the finite is not the barrier, but the liberation, of the infinite.

  • For even to allow a shadow of finiteness in the Absolute is to negate it; to define it is to annihilate it!

    Nature Mysticism J. Edward Mercer
  • On the other hand, it is claimed on the basis of the finiteness of human action that both reward and punishment should be finite.

  • Similarly God's unity in Maimonides is among other things based upon the finiteness of the world and its unity.

British Dictionary definitions for finiteness


bounded in magnitude or spatial or temporal extent: a finite difference
(maths, logic) having a number of elements that is a natural number; able to be counted using the natural numbers less than some natural number Compare denumerable, infinite (sense 4)
  1. limited or restricted in nature: human existence is finite
  2. (as noun): the finite
denoting any form or occurrence of a verb inflected for grammatical features such as person, number, and tense
Derived Forms
finitely, adverb
finiteness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin fīnītus limited, from fīnīre to limit, end
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
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Word Origin and History for finiteness



early 15c., from Latin finitus, past participle of finire "to limit, set bounds, end," from finis (see finish (v.)). Related: Finitely.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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finiteness in Science
  1. Relating to a set that cannot be put into a one-to-one correspondence with any proper subset of its own members.

  2. Relating to or being a numerical quantity describing the size of such a set.

  3. Being a member of the set of real or complex numbers.

  4. Being a quantity that is non-zero and not infinite.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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