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See more synonyms for definitive on Thesaurus.com
  1. most reliable or complete, as of a text, author, criticism, study, or the like: the definitive biography of Andrew Jackson.
  2. serving to define, fix, or specify definitely: to clarify with a definitive statement.
  3. having its fixed and final form; providing a solution or final answer; satisfying all criteria: the definitive treatment for an infection; a definitive answer to a dilemma.
  4. Biology. fully developed or formed; complete.
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  1. a defining or limiting word, as an article, a demonstrative, or the like.
  2. Philately. a stamp that is a regular issue and is usually on sale for an extended period of time.Compare commemorative(def 2).
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Origin of definitive

1350–1400; Middle English < Old French < Latin dēfīnītīvus, equivalent to dēfīnīt(us) (see definite) + -īvus -ive
Related formsde·fin·i·tive·ly, adverbde·fin·i·tive·ness, nounnon·de·fin·i·tive, adjectivenon·de·fin·i·tive·ly, adverbnon·de·fin·i·tive·ness, nounun·de·fin·i·tive, adjectiveun·de·fin·i·tive·ly, adverbun·de·fin·i·tive·ness, noun
Can be confuseddefinite definitive

Synonyms for definitive

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for definitiveness

Historical Examples of definitiveness

  • Why she was in it she could not have told, at least with any degree of definitiveness.


    Bertram Mitford

  • The whole occurrence, charged with all the definitiveness of fate, was scant ten minutes in transition.

    The Moonshiners At Hoho-Hebee Falls

    Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

British Dictionary definitions for definitiveness


  1. serving to decide or settle finally; conclusive
  2. most reliable, complete, or authoritativethe definitive reading of a text
  3. serving to define or outline
  4. zoology fully developed; completethe definitive form of a parasite
    1. (of postage stamps) permanently on sale
    2. (as noun)a definitive postage stamp
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  1. grammar a word indicating specificity of reference, such as the definite article or a demonstrative adjective or pronoun
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Derived Formsdefinitively, adverbdefinitiveness, noun
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 definitiveness



late 14c., from Old French definitif (12c.), from Latin definitivus "explanatory, definitive," from past participle stem of definire (see define). Related: Definitively.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper