"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[dih-fin-i-tiv] /dɪˈfɪn ɪ tɪv/
most reliable or complete, as of a text, author, criticism, study, or the like:
the definitive biography of Andrew Jackson.
serving to define, fix, or specify definitely:
to clarify with a definitive statement.
having its fixed and final form; providing a solution or final answer; satisfying all criteria:
the definitive treatment for an infection; a definitive answer to a dilemma.
Biology. fully developed or formed; complete.
a defining or limiting word, as an article, a demonstrative, or the like.
Philately. a stamp that is a regular issue and is usually on sale for an extended period of time.
Compare commemorative (def 2).
Origin of definitive
1350-1400; Middle English < Old French < Latin dēfīnītīvus, equivalent to dēfīnīt(us) (see definite) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
definitively, adverb
definitiveness, noun
nondefinitive, adjective
nondefinitively, adverb
nondefinitiveness, noun
undefinitive, adjective
undefinitively, adverb
undefinitiveness, noun
Can be confused
definite, definitive.
3. complete, absolute, ultimate, supreme. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for definitive
  • In the first meeting between the two parties' leaders since the war, they pledged to work towards a definitive end to hostilities.
  • We couldn't offer the young man any definitive information about his mother.
  • While not definitive, it is also not just blind conjecture.
  • Without modern genetics, no definitive answers could be given.
  • There are some guesses, some interesting experiments, but nothing definitive.
  • Although there are theories, definitive explanations are hard to come by.
  • Our goal here is not to criticize students or provide a definitive answer to the problem presented.
  • For a definitive diagnosis, labs still rely on the gold-standard technique: a culture.
  • Five decades later, there's no definitive answer.
  • The research on writing response seems to be pretty definitive that students do not read those types of coded comments.
British Dictionary definitions for definitive


serving to decide or settle finally; conclusive
most reliable, complete, or authoritative: the definitive reading of a text
serving to define or outline
(zoology) fully developed; complete: the definitive form of a parasite
  1. (of postage stamps) permanently on sale
  2. (as noun) a definitive postage stamp
(grammar) a word indicating specificity of reference, such as the definite article or a demonstrative adjective or pronoun
Derived Forms
definitively, adverb
definitiveness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for definitive

late 14c., from Old French definitif (12c.), from Latin definitivus "explanatory, definitive," from past participle stem of definire (see define). Related: Definitively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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