finity

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

finity (countable and uncountable, plural finities) (rare)

  1. (uncountable) The state or characteristic of being limited in number or scope.
    • 1874, Julian Hawthorne, chapter 31, in Idolatry: A Romance:
      He was calm in the conviction that he could measure and calculate the universe. . . . He matched finity against the Infinite.
    • 1899, Jack London, "The White Silence":
      Nature has many tricks wherewith she convinces man of his finity.
    • 1987, Julius Thomas Fraser, Time, the Familiar Stranger, ISBN 9780870235764, p. 37 (Google preview):
      In a very non-Aristotelian fashion, Nicholas of Cusa produced a synthesis of finity and infinity.
    • 2006, Rolf A. F. Witzsche, Universal Divine Science: Spiritual Pedagogicals, ISBN 9781897046944, p. 106 (Google preview):
      We . . . labor to find our identity in the infinite in spite of our encumberment in finity.
  2. (countable) Something which is limited in number or scope.
    • 1734, Isaac Watts, "A Brief Scheme of Ontology" in Philosophical Essays on Various Subjects (6th edition, 1794), p. 370 (Google preview):
      Disagreement in substance or essence . . . may be called Disproportion, as there is a disproportion between finities and infinities, i.e. there is no proportion between them.
    • 1837 Sep. 2, "The Transcendalist's Dialogues: No. IX," The Shepherd, vol. 3, no. 10, p. 79 (Google preview):
      If we imagined a person capable of comprehending infinity, we should merely think that he was able infinitely to add up finities.
    • 1884 Jan., "Prayer and Science," Methodist Quarterly Review, 4th series, vol. 66, p. 8 (Google preview):
      And this condescension of infinite Perfection to the finities—to their imperfections, contingencies, and littlenesses—is the very result of its perfection.

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References[edit]

  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.