noun, plural in·fin·i·ties.
- 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.
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Origin of infinity
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH infinityaffinity infinity
Words nearby infinity
ABOUT THIS WORD
What is the infinity symbol?
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.
Example sentences from the Web for 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.‘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.
The ever present Ellen, who had never herself given a thought to the unseen, brought Pelle face to face with infinity.Pelle the Conqueror, Complete|Martin Anderson Nexo
But we cannot be content with this measure of reduction of the infinity of experience.Language|Edward Sapir
Man is divinely prescient of his infinity of mind as soon as he begins to meditate and respire.Transcendentalism in New England|Octavius Brooks Frothingham
Therefore the chances against its existence are as infinity to one.The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 2 (of 4)|Thomas Babington Macaulay
But his soul pours out none the less over the infinity of harmonies and of thought.The Reform of Education|Giovanni Gentile