infinite

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin infinitus, from in- (not) + finis (end) + the perfect passive participle ending -itus.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

infinite (comparative more infinite, superlative most infinite)

  1. Indefinably large, countlessly great; immense. [from 14th c.]
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, I.40:
      The number is so infinite, that verily it would be an easier matter for me to reckon up those that have feared the same.
    • (Can we date this quote?) H. Brooke
      Whatever is finite, as finite, will admit of no comparative relation with infinity; for whatever is less than infinite is still infinitely distant from infinity; and lower than infinite distance the lowest or least cannot sink.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Marlowe
      infinite riches in a little room
    • (Can we date this quote?) Milton
      which infinite calamity shall cause to human life
  2. Boundless, endless, without end or limits; innumerable. [from 15th c.]
    • Bible, Psalms cxlvii. 5
      Great is our Lord, and of great power; his understanding is infinite.
  3. With plural noun: infinitely many. [from 15th c.]
    • 2012, Helen Donelan, ‎Karen Kear, ‎Magnus Ramage, Online Communication and Collaboration: A Reader
      Huxley's theory says that if you provide infinite monkeys with infinite typewriters, some monkey somewhere will eventually create a masterpiece – a play by Shakespeare, a Platonic dialogue, or an economic treatise by Adam Smith.
  4. (mathematics) Greater than any positive quantity or magnitude; limitless. [from 17th c.]
  5. (set theory, of a set) Having infinitely many elements.
    • 2009, Brandon C. Look, “Symbolic Logic II, Lecture 2: Set Theory”, www.uky.edu/~look, accessed on 2012-11-20:
      For any infinite set, there is a 1-1 correspondence between it and at least one of its proper subsets. For example, there is a 1-1 correspondence between the set of natural numbers and the set of squares of natural numbers, which is a proper subset of the set of natural numbers.
  6. (grammar) Not limited by person or number. [from 19th c.]
  7. (music) Capable of endless repetition; said of certain forms of the canon, also called perpetual fugues, constructed so that their ends lead to their beginnings.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Moore (Encyc. of Music) to this entry?)

Usage notes[edit]

Although the term is incomparable in the precise sense, it can be comparable both in mathematics and set theory to compare different degrees of infinity, and informally to denote yet a larger thing.

Synonyms[edit]

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Translations[edit]

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Numeral[edit]

infinite

  1. Infinitely many.

Italian[edit]

Adjective[edit]

infinite f pl

  1. feminine plural of infinito

Latin[edit]

Adjective[edit]

īnfīnīte

  1. vocative masculine singular of īnfīnītus