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Webster 1913 Edition


Infinite

In′fi-nite

,
Adj.
[L.
infinitus
: cf. F.
infini
. See
In-
not, and
Finite
.]
1.
Unlimited or boundless, in time or space;
as,
infinite
duration or distance
.
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 can not sink.
H. Brooke.
2.
Without limit in power, capacity, knowledge, or excellence; boundless; immeasurably or inconceivably great; perfect;
as, the
infinite
wisdom and goodness of God
; – opposed to
finite
.
Great is our Lord, and of great power; his understanding is
infinite
.
Ps. cxlvii. 5.
O God, how
infinite
thou art!
I. Watts.
3.
Indefinitely large or extensive; great; vast; immense; gigantic; prodigious.
Infinite
riches in a little room.
Marlowe.
Which
infinite
calamity shall cause
To human life.
Milton.
4.
(Math.)
Greater than any assignable quantity of the same kind; – said of certain quantities.
Syn. – Boundless; immeasurable; illimitable; interminable; limitless; unlimited; endless; eternal.

In′fi-nite

,
Noun.
1.
That which is infinite; boundless space or duration; infinity; boundlessness.
Not till the weight is heaved from off the air, and the thunders roll down the horizon, will the serene light of God flow upon us, and the blue
infinite
embrace us again.
J. Martineau.
2.
(Math.)
An infinite quantity or magnitude.
3.
An infinity; an incalculable or very great number.
Glittering chains, embroidered richly o’er
With
infinite
of pearls and finest gold.
Fanshawe.
4.
The Infinite Being; God; the Almighty.

Webster 1828 Edition


Infinite

IN'FINITE

,
Adj.
[L. infinitus; in and finitus, terminated.]
1.
Without limits; unbounded; boundless; not circumscribed; applied to time, space and qualities. God is infinite in duration, having neither beginning nor end of existence. He is also infinite in presence, or omnipresent, and his perfections are infinite. We also speak of infinite space.
2.
That will have no end. Thus angels and men, though they have had a beginning, will exist in infinite duration.
3.
That has a beginning in space, but is infinitely extended; as, a line beginning at a point, but extended indefinitely, is an infinite line.
4.
Infinite is used loosely and hyperbolically for indefinitely large, immense, of great size or extent.
Infinite canon, in music, a perpetual fugue.

Definition 2021


infinite

infinite

See also: infinité

English

Adjective

infinite (comparative more infinite, superlative most infinite)

  1. Indefinably large, countlessly great; immense. [from 14th c.]
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essayes, London: Edward Blount, OCLC 946730821, 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”, in www.uky.edu/~look, retrieved 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

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

Antonyms

Hyponyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Numeral

infinite

  1. Infinitely many.

Italian

Adjective

infinite f pl

  1. feminine plural of infinito

Latin

Adjective

īnfīnīte

  1. vocative masculine singular of īnfīnītus

References