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  1. having bounds or limits; not infinite; measurable.
  2. Mathematics.
    1. (of a set of elements) capable of being completely counted.
    2. not infinite or infinitesimal.
    3. not zero.
  3. subject to limitations or conditions, as of space, time, circumstances, or the laws of nature: man's finite existence on earth.
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  1. something that is finite.
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Origin of finite

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin fīnītus, past participle of fīnīre to stop, limit. See fine1, -ite2
Related formsfi·nite·ly, adverbfi·nite·ness, nounnon·fi·nite, adjective, nounnon·fi·nite·ly, adverbnon·fi·nite·ness, nounsu·per·fi·nite, adjectivesu·per·fi·nite·ly, adverbsu·per·fi·nite·ness, nounun·fi·nite, adjective

Synonyms for finite

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1. bounded, limited, circumscribed, restricted.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for finite

limited, fixed, definite, restricted, bound, bounded, conditioned, confined, definable, exact, precise, specific, determinate, delimited, terminable

Examples from the Web for finite

Contemporary Examples of finite

Historical Examples of finite

British Dictionary definitions for finite


  1. bounded in magnitude or spatial or temporal extenta 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 numberCompare denumerable, infinite (def. 4)
    1. limited or restricted in naturehuman existence is finite
    2. (as noun)the finite
  3. denoting any form or occurrence of a verb inflected for grammatical features such as person, number, and tense
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Derived Formsfinitely, adverbfiniteness, noun

Word Origin for finite

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

Word Origin and History for finite


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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