exceedingly small; minute: Capillaries, the infinitesimal vessels in our circulatory system, are small enough that red blood cells must flow through them single-file.
immeasurably small; less than an assignable quantity:An infinitesimal number is never zero, but it comes pretty close.
of, relating to, or involving variables having zero as a limit:infinitesimal calculus.
an infinitesimal quantity.
Mathematics. a variable having zero as a limit.
- in·fin·i·tes·i·mal·i·ty [in-fin-i-tes-uh-mal-i-tee], /ˌɪn fɪn ɪˌtɛs əˈmæl ɪ ti/, in·fin·i·tes·i·mal·ness, noun
- in·fin·i·tes·i·mal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use infinitesimal in a sentence
He studies the infinitesimal fluctuations of light from space in hopes of locating alien planets capable of supporting life.Fresh off a Pulitzer win for ‘The Overstory,’ Richard Powers delivers another environmental ode | Ron Charles | September 21, 2021 | Washington Post
People were looking at infinitesimal changes in the light of immensely distant stars—reflections in brightness of a few parts per million—and calculating invisible bodies that dimmed them in transiting.
You’re going to hear all these stories about all the folks, all the people that make it big, but they’re going to be like an infinitesimal fraction of everybody else trying to do the same thing and not being able to do it.
Clausius’s discovery and definition of entropy—one of the wonders of science—relied totally on infinitesimal changes from one equilibrium state of a confined system to another.
The result is that even an infinitesimal inaccuracy in any measurement of the turbulence is enough to throw off any analysis of how it might evolve.An Unexpected Twist Lights Up the Secrets of Turbulence | David H. Freedman | September 3, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
But of course, the percentage of Americans who know that is infinitesimal.
"The difference between clicking and not clicking is often infinitesimal, and too much wasn't clicking," he recalls.New York’s Greatest Show Or How They Did Not Screw Up ‘Guys and Dolls’ | Ross Wetzsteon | April 6, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The territory in dispute is grand in the imaginings of history and infinitesimal in geography.Barack Obama’s Cairo Speech, and His Israel Problem | Marty Peretz | February 25, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Quantum theory explains the small stuff, where matter and energy divide into infinitesimal particles.
But with so little time before actual voting begins, the margin for error is infinitesimal.
And Lecky says, "Only an infinitesimal portion of the soil belongs to the descendants of those who possessed it before Cromwell."Is Ulster Right? | Anonymous
Average Jones became vitally concerned in removing an infinitesimal speck from his left cuff.Average Jones | Samuel Hopkins Adams
A portion might be termed satisfaction, and a minute balance, an infinitesimal part, termed—if there is such a thing in life—joy.Tyranny of God | Joseph Lewis
These infinitesimal distinctions between man and man are too paltry for an Omnipotent being.Dracula | Bram Stoker
It is, at best, only a description of an infinitesimal bit of reality.By the Christmas Fire | Samuel McChord Crothers
British Dictionary definitions for infinitesimal
infinitely or immeasurably small
maths of, relating to, or involving a small change in the value of a variable that approaches zero as a limit
maths an infinitesimal quantity
- infinitesimally, adverb
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 infinitesimal
Capable of having values approaching zero as a limit.
A function or variable continuously approaching zero as a limit.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.