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infinitive

[in-fin-i-tiv] /ɪnˈfɪn ɪ tɪv/
noun
1.
a verb form found in many languages that functions as a noun or is used with auxiliary verbs, and that names the action or state without specifying the subject, as French venir “to come,” Latin esse “to be,” fuisse “to have been.”.
2.
(in English) the simple or basic form of the verb, as come, take, eat, be, used after auxiliary verbs, as in I didn't come, He must be, or this simple form preceded by a function word, as to in I want to eat.
adjective
3.
consisting of or containing an infinitive:
an infinitive construction.
Abbreviation: infin.
Origin
late Middle English
1425-1475
1425-75; late Middle English < Late Latin infīnītīvus indefinite, equivalent to in- in-3 + fīnītīvus definite; see finite, -ive
Related forms
infinitively, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for infinitives
  • But you should try to not awkwardly split infinitives, as in this sentence.
  • For infinitives, the left side of the arrow is simply a straight line.
British Dictionary definitions for infinitives

infinitive

/ɪnˈfɪnɪtɪv/
noun (grammar)
1.
a form of the verb not inflected for grammatical categories such as tense and person and used without an overt subject. In English, the infinitive usually consists of the word to followed by the verb
Derived Forms
infinitival (ˌɪnfɪnɪˈtaɪvəl) adjective
infinitively, infinitivally, adverb
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 infinitives

infinitive

n.

"simple, uninflected form of a verb," 1510s (mid-15c. as an adjective), from Late Latin infinitivus "unlimited, indefinite," from Latin infinitus (see infinite). "Indefinite" because not having definite person or number.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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infinitives in Culture

infinitive definition


The simple or dictionary form of a verb: walk, think, fly, exist. Often the word to marks a verb as an infinitive: “to walk,” “to think,” “to fly,” “to exist.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Difficulty index for infinitive

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Word Value for infinitives

17
20
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