[ fahy-nahyt ]
See synonyms for finite on
  1. having bounds or limits; not infinite; measurable.

  2. Mathematics.

    • (of a set of elements) capable of being completely counted.

    • not infinite or infinitesimal.

    • not zero.

  1. subject to limitations or conditions, as of space, time, circumstances, or the laws of nature: our finite existence on earth.

  1. something that is finite.

Origin of finite

1375–1425; late Middle English <Latin fīnītus, past participle of fīnīre to stop, limit. See fine1, -ite2

Other words for finite

Other words from finite

  • fi·nite·ly, adverb
  • fi·nite·ness, noun
  • non·fi·nite, adjective, noun
  • non·fi·nite·ly, adverb
  • non·fi·nite·ness, noun
  • su·per·fi·nite, adjective
  • su·per·fi·nite·ly, adverb
  • su·per·fi·nite·ness, noun
  • un·fi·nite, adjective

Words Nearby finite Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use finite in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for finite


/ (ˈfaɪnaɪt) /

  1. bounded in magnitude or spatial or temporal extent: a finite difference

  2. 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 (def. 4)

    • limited or restricted in nature: human existence is finite

    • (as noun): the finite

  1. denoting any form or occurrence of a verb inflected for grammatical features such as person, number, and tense

Origin of finite

C15: from Latin fīnītus limited, from fīnīre to limit, end

Derived forms of finite

  • finitely, adverb
  • finiteness, 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

Scientific definitions for finite


[ nīt′ ]

  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.

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

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

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.