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infinitesimal

[in-fin-i-tes-uh-muh l]
adjective
  1. indefinitely or exceedingly small; minute: infinitesimal vessels in the circulatory system.
  2. immeasurably small; less than an assignable quantity: to an infinitesimal degree.
  3. of, relating to, or involving infinitesimals.
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noun
  1. an infinitesimal quantity.
  2. Mathematics. a variable having zero as a limit.
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Origin of infinitesimal

1645–55; < New Latin infīnītēsim(us), equivalent to Latin infīnīt(us) infinite + -ēsimus suffix of ordinal numerals + -al1
Related formsin·fin·i·tes·i·mal·i·ty, in·fin·i·tes·i·mal·ness, nounin·fin·i·tes·i·mal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for infinitesimally

Contemporary Examples of infinitesimally

Historical Examples of infinitesimally

  • Just think—that sparrow when we last saw it was infinitesimally small.

    The Girl in the Golden Atom

    Raymond King Cummings

  • He must have been infinitesimally small; but that did not matter.

    Mystic London:

    Charles Maurice Davies

  • Their success, of which so much is said in England and America, is "infinitesimally small."

    From Egypt to Japan

    Henry M. Field

  • Then carefully, ever so infinitesimally, he adjusted a knob on the device.

  • The trouble is that they are so small, so infinitesimally small, almost.


British Dictionary definitions for infinitesimally

infinitesimal

adjective
  1. infinitely or immeasurably small
  2. maths of, relating to, or involving a small change in the value of a variable that approaches zero as a limit
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noun
  1. maths an infinitesimal quantity
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Derived Formsinfinitesimally, 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

Word Origin and History for infinitesimally

infinitesimal

adj.

1710 (1650s as a noun), "infinitely small," from Modern Latin infinitesimus, from Latin infinitus "infinite" (see infinite) + -esimus, as in centesimus "hundredth." Related: Infinitesimally.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

infinitesimally in Science

infinitesimal

[ĭn′fĭn-ĭ-tĕsə-məl]
Adjective
  1. Capable of having values approaching zero as a limit.
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Noun
  1. A function or variable continuously approaching zero as a limit.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.