Definition of finite in English:



  • 1Limited in size or extent.

    ‘every computer has a finite amount of memory’
    • ‘They were always going to gain a finite amount of income from the scheme.’
    • ‘However, there is a finite number of police officers to respond to incidents.’
    • ‘We know, that a single universe is enormously large, but always finite in size due to its Big-Bang origin.’
    • ‘With Frank in the chair, the deans met every fortnight ensuring that finite resources were used effectively.’
    • ‘There is no doubt that in health there is infinite demand and finite resources, and each scarce health dollar must be put to the best possible use.’
    • ‘Language is a descriptive and a definitive tool - to name the thing is to bind the thing - and as such it is finite and limited.’
    • ‘Since our industry is so specific, it's really a finite group of people we're targeting.’
    • ‘Everything we perceive is filtered through our finite minds with finite vocabulary.’
    • ‘Simply because resources are finite, and we have to use them the best we can.’
    • ‘If something created God, God would have a beginning and He'd be finite, not infinite.’
    • ‘I have told them the heart only has a finite number of irreplaceable cells.’
    • ‘Anderson now spreads the word on the unsustainability of infinite growth in a finite world.’
    • ‘We do not know for sure whether the Universe is finite or infinite.’
    • ‘Earth is a sphere; it therefore has finite volume and finite resources.’
    • ‘"In public finance, circumstances change, and we have to recognise that resources are finite.’
    • ‘Inductive arguments reason from a finite set of examples to a general rule.’
    • ‘In this era of limited resources and finite health - care budgets, it is important to assess not just clinical effectiveness but also cost effectiveness.’
    • ‘Guest speaker, Mr Warner, pointed out that water is a finite resource that is infinitely recycled.’
    • ‘On another, more important level, the book is about Levin's research in cosmology, and her idea that the universe may be finite in size.’
    • ‘These challenges include a finite budget, and limited personnel and resources.’
    limited, not infinite, subject to limitations, restricted
    View synonyms
  • 2Grammar
    (of a verb form) having a specific tense, number, and person.

    • ‘But we also don't call them finite complement clauses, though many linguists would.’
    • ‘In English, tense must be expressed in all finite verb phrases.’
    • ‘Mini mission statements, nearly always written without benefit of finite verbs, are increasingly common.’
    • ‘A temporal profile needs to be contributed by a finite verb, as in I walked into the garden, We drove towards the sea.’
    • ‘Form a question and make it specific and finite so that the answer is easily recognizable.’


Late Middle English: from Latin finitus ‘finished’, past participle of finire (see finish).