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[fahy-nahyt] /ˈfaɪ naɪt/
having bounds or limits; not infinite; measurable.
  1. (of a set of elements) capable of being completely counted.
  2. not infinite or infinitesimal.
  3. not zero.
subject to limitations or conditions, as of space, time, circumstances, or the laws of nature:
man's finite existence on earth.
something that is finite.
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin fīnītus, past participle of fīnīre to stop, limit. See fine1, -ite2
Related forms
finitely, adverb
finiteness, noun
nonfinite, adjective, noun
nonfinitely, adverb
nonfiniteness, noun
superfinite, adjective
superfinitely, adverb
superfiniteness, noun
unfinite, adjective
1. bounded, limited, circumscribed, restricted. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for finite
  • They paid either by the hour or by the paper and drew on a finite pool of money available to the department.
  • And so the process of learning, along with students' perception of knowledge, can't be finite either.
  • The real problem with putting cash into supposedly climate- neutral industries is that money is finite.
  • So the trick will be allocating powerful but finite resources in an efficient and managed way.
  • In contrast, interactive computer games create a space seemingly without horizons, finite yet unbounded.
  • You've got to respect budgets because people are investing and building and have certain finite resources.
  • There is no finite amount that students would be responsible for paying back.
  • The global economy cannot grow indefinitely on a finite planet.
  • Our brains are as finite in capacity as our waistlines.
  • The reality is that there's a finite amount of virtually risk-free debt.
British Dictionary definitions for finite


bounded in magnitude or spatial or temporal extent: a finite difference
(maths, logic) having a number of elements that is a natural number; able to be counted using the natural numbers less than some natural number Compare denumerable, infinite (sense 4)
  1. limited or restricted in nature: human existence is finite
  2. (as noun): the finite
denoting any form or occurrence of a verb inflected for grammatical features such as person, number, and tense
Derived Forms
finitely, adverb
finiteness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin fīnītus limited, from fīnīre to limit, end
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 finite

early 15c., from Latin finitus, past participle of finire "to limit, set bounds, end," from finis (see finish (v.)). Related: Finitely.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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finite in Science
  1. Relating to a set that cannot be put into a one-to-one correspondence with any proper subset of its own members.

  2. Relating to or being a numerical quantity describing the size of such a set.

  3. Being a member of the set of real or complex numbers.

  4. Being a quantity that is non-zero and not infinite.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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finite in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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