• synonyms


[ 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.


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Nearby words

finishing school, finishing touch, finisterre, finisterre, cape, finistère, finite, finite clause, finite decimal, finite difference, finite intersection property, finite state machine

Origin of finite

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin fīnītus, past participle of fīnīre to stop, limit. See fine1, -ite2
1 bounded, limited, circumscribed, restricted.
Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for finitely

  • We cannot apprehend an object as sublime while we apprehend it as comparably, measurably, or finitely great.

    Oxford Lectures on Poetry|Andrew Cecil Bradley
  • So that, as a matter of fact, the New Testament is in- finitely more cruel than the Old.

British Dictionary definitions for finitely


/ (ˈfaɪnaɪt) /


bounded in magnitude or spatial or temporal extenta 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 numberCompare denumerable, infinite (def. 4)
  1. limited or restricted in naturehuman 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 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 finitely



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

Science definitions for finitely


[ fīnīt′ ]

Relating to a set that cannot be put into a one-to-one correspondence with any proper subset of its own members.
Relating to or being a numerical quantity describing the size of such a set.
Being a member of the set of real or complex numbers.
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.