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# infinity

[ in-**fin**-i-tee ]

## noun

*plural***in·fin·i·ties.**- the quality or state of being infinite.
- something that is infinite.
- infinite space, time, or quantity.
- an infinite extent, amount, or number.
- an indefinitely great amount or number.
*Mathematics.*- the assumed limit of a sequence, series, etc., that increases without bound.
- infinite distance or an infinitely distant part of space.

*Photography.*- a distance between a subject and the camera so great that rays of light reflected from the subject may be regarded as parallel.
- a distance setting of the camera lens beyond which everything is in focus.

infinity

/ ɪnˈfɪnɪtɪ /

## noun

- the state or quality of being infinite
- endless time, space, or quantity
- an infinitely or indefinitely great number or amount
- optics photog a point that is far enough away from a lens, mirror, etc, for the light emitted by it to fall in parallel rays on the surface of the lens, etc
- physics a dimension or quantity of sufficient size to be unaffected by finite variations
- maths the concept of a value greater than any finite numerical value
- a distant ideal point at which two parallel lines are assumed to meet

infinity

/ ĭn-fĭn**′**ĭ-tē /

- A space, extent of time, or quantity that has no limit.

## Word History and Origins

Origin of infinity^{1}

## Example Sentences

Riehl is currently working to expand the usefulness of infinity categories in mathematics.

We’ve been developing a new approach to the foundations of infinity category theory.

So, thinking about infinity categories more abstractly, rather than more concretely.

This effectively reduced a question about infinity to an easier problem about the arithmetic of a few numbers.

As many solvers correctly observed, the expression goes off to infinity.

Infinity War was a six-issue Marvel series published back in 1992.

The Infinity Stones are six magical stones that, when inserted into the Infinity Gauntlet, grant the wearer infinite power.

Unbeknownst to him, the orb contains an Infinity Stone, which holds within it the power to destroy entire planets.

Infinity Mirrored Room consists of roughly one hundred multicolored LED lights that pulsate at various speeds and patterns.

Infinity Broadcasting Operations was fined a total of $357,500 by the FCC, the maximum allowable amount.

So dies the invasion of England bogey which, from first to last, has wrought us an infinity of harm.

The argument proves no other infinity of duration than may be embraced within five minutes.

Below the major gods was an infinity of smaller ones, who presided over physical and moral matters.

Is infinity this distance carried to the extreme, because it is an innumerable manifoldness?

Where indeed would it halt, since the place indicated by the word "where" is posterior to infinity?

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## About This Word

### What is the *infinity symbol*?

The *infinity symbol*, a figure eight on its side ∞, variously signifies the concept of limitlessness or eternity, especially as used notationally in mathematics and metaphorically with respect to love.

### Where did the *infinity symbol *come from?

The* infinity symbol*, sometimes called the *lemniscate* in algebraic geometry, has been in use for hundreds of years. Although the concept of *infinity* has been documented since the Ancient Greek mathematicians and philosophers, the symbol as we now know it was first used by English priest and mathematician John Wallis in 1655. It’s not clear exactly why Wallis chose the symbol, though its shape does handily represent an endless curve; historians note that a similar figure appears in early Christian iconography and the Ancient Romans employed a series of numerals denoting “many” that resembled the figure eight.

The *infinity symbol* became a very popular aesthetic trend beginning around 2011. It now has meaning beyond the realm of math, and it is often adapted by others to be used in expressions of never-ending love or individual empowerment (tied to the concept of being eternal and, thus, unbreakable). Because of the attraction of its simple design and deep meaning, the *infinity symbol* has become a popular emblem in fashion and accessory design, most commonly in the form of jewelry and tattoos. Double infinity symbols are a popular design for couples or close friends, with the suggestion of a balanced relationship between unique yet intertwined individuals.

Its popularity began to decrease near the end of 2015, when it began to be viewed as cliché and basic. Though still popular, the *infinity symbol* as a personal statement can have a slightly negative connotation due to its somewhat mainstream status now.

Similar ideas of endlessness have been conveyed in the art world by the ouroboros symbol, the ancient image of a snake eating its own tail. Sometimes the ouroboros is depicted as two snakes entwined, and sometimes the snake(s) make the figure-eight shape or simply a circle. The ouroboros is most commonly interpreted as a representation of the cycle of life and death, although it has had different meanings across many cultures.

### How to use the *infinity symbol*

The *infinity symbol* is still used in its original algebraic meaning in scientific fields such as calculus, computer science, and physics. It is also popularly used in graphic design to evoke ideas of eternity, and it often provides a jumping-off point for logo designs.

The *infinity symbol* as it appears in personal fashion may be used in total sincerity, as with a romantic couple who wish to express their eternal love for one another (i.e., having the actual figure-eight symbol on a necklace, earrings, ring, or matching tattoos), but often, the term* infinity symbol* is used humorously. Because the* infinity symbol* now has a strong association with its popularity among young white women as a tattoo, it is often mocked as superficially deep, pretentious, or appropriative, though these judgments may overlap with general ridicule young women face in society.

### Note

This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

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