infinitesimal

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page as described here.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˌɪnfɪnɪˈtɛsɪməl/
  • (file)

Adjective[edit]

infinitesimal (comparative more infinitesimal, superlative most infinitesimal)

  1. Incalculably, exceedingly, or immeasurably minute; vanishingly small.
    Do you ever get the feeling that you are but an infinitesimal speck, swallowed by the vastness of the universe and beyond?
    • 2001, Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl, page 221:
      Then you could say that the doorway exploded. But the particular verb doesn't do the action justice. Rather, it shattered into infinitesimal pieces.
  2. (mathematics) Of or pertaining to values that approach zero as a limit.
  3. (informal) Very small.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Strictly, this adjective, like infinite, is incomparable, so more infinitesimal and most infinitesimal are proscribed, especially in the mathematical sense. However, these forms do occur in informal usage, where the very small (but measurable) sense is most common.

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Noun[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

infinitesimal (plural infinitesimals)

  1. (mathematics) A non-zero quantity whose magnitude is smaller than any positive number (by definition it is not a real number).

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