- the assumed limit of a sequence, series, etc., that increases without bound.
- infinite distance or an infinitely distant part of space.
- 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.
Origin of infinity
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH infinityaffinity, infinity
Words nearby infinity
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.
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.
How to use infinity in a sentence
Riehl is currently working to expand the usefulness of infinity categories in mathematics.Conducting the Mathematical Orchestra From the Middle|Rachel Crowell|September 2, 2020|Quanta Magazine
We’ve been developing a new approach to the foundations of infinity category theory.Conducting the Mathematical Orchestra From the Middle|Rachel Crowell|September 2, 2020|Quanta Magazine
So, thinking about infinity categories more abstractly, rather than more concretely.Conducting the Mathematical Orchestra From the Middle|Rachel Crowell|September 2, 2020|Quanta Magazine
This effectively reduced a question about infinity to an easier problem about the arithmetic of a few numbers.Computer Search Settles 90-Year-Old Math Problem|Kevin Hartnett|August 19, 2020|Quanta Magazine
As many solvers correctly observed, the expression goes off to infinity.Are You Hip Enough To Be Square?|Zach Wissner-Gross|August 14, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
Infinity War was a six-issue Marvel series published back in 1992.Inside Marvel’s Phase 3: How ‘The Avengers’ Cross Paths with Black Panther and the New Superheroes|Marlow Stern|October 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The Infinity Stones are six magical stones that, when inserted into the Infinity Gauntlet, grant the wearer infinite power.Inside Marvel’s Phase 3: How ‘The Avengers’ Cross Paths with Black Panther and the New Superheroes|Marlow Stern|October 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Unbeknownst to him, the orb contains an Infinity Stone, which holds within it the power to destroy entire planets.‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Filmmaker James Gunn on His Glorious Space Opera and Rise to the A-List|Marlow Stern|August 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Infinity Mirrored Room consists of roughly one hundred multicolored LED lights that pulsate at various speeds and patterns.Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Room” Madness Takes Manhattan|Justin Jones|December 6, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Infinity Broadcasting Operations was fined a total of $357,500 by the FCC, the maximum allowable amount.Royal Radio Pranks Gone Wrong|Abby Haglage|December 9, 2012|DAILY BEAST
So dies the invasion of England bogey which, from first to last, has wrought us an infinity of harm.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I|Ian Hamilton
The argument proves no other infinity of duration than may be embraced within five minutes.A System of Logic: Ratiocinative and Inductive|John Stuart Mill
Below the major gods was an infinity of smaller ones, who presided over physical and moral matters.Ancient Faiths And Modern|Thomas Inman
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?