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

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

1. bounded, limited, circumscribed, restricted. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for finiteness

Historical Examples of finiteness

  • For finiteness and nothingness are identical; finiteness is only a euphemism for nothingness.

  • Infinitude is immediately involved in unity, and finiteness in plurality.

  • It is only a sense of the poverty of finiteness that gives a sense of the bliss of infiniteness.

  • What it proves is not the finiteness of God, but the littleness of a human intellect.


    Robert Flint

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


    Magdeleine Marx

British Dictionary definitions for finiteness



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 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

finiteness in Science



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.