Definition of infinity in English:

infinity

noun

  • 1[mass noun] The state or quality of being infinite:

    ‘the infinity of space’
    • ‘And please, for Valentine's sake, do not doubt my mathematics - my equation refers to the ‘right’ pair of people who fall in love to find that infinity of life.’
    • ‘Once this infinity attaches to even the most trivial or dissolute of ordinary passions it lends the full force and import of freedom to it, fueling an obsessive and insatiable fanaticism.’
    • ‘We'll have the hits, maybe some hits-to-come, maybe some ruminations on the fame he loathes escalating into iconographic infinity.’
    • ‘But the infinity of God is always paramount for Descartes.’
    • ‘Scotus then asks us to shift from thinking about an actual quantitative infinity to thinking about an actual qualitative infinity.’
    • ‘The stars and planets that merrily twinkle, light years away, have inspired song lyrics and poems, become pivotal symbols in religion and have provided an eternal need for man to explore the concept of infinity.’
    • ‘Christ, half-lit, retains his mystery - a contrast to the ambiguity, doubt and infinity of the enveloping blackness.’
    • ‘The field theorist would point to the breakdown of the usual procedure for eliminating infinities from calculations of physical quantities.’
    endlessness, infinitude, infiniteness, boundlessness, limitlessness, unlimitedness, extensiveness, vastness, immensity
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    1. 1.1[count noun] An infinite or very great number or amount:
      ‘an infinity of combinations’
      • ‘There was an infinity of greens, rendered all the greener by splashes of red hibiscus and the herons floating past, so white and big it seemed as if sheets hung out to dry had suddenly taken wing.’
      • ‘Australians are squeezed between two inhospitable infinities, one dry, the other wet.’
      • ‘I've traveled through the blind infinities of existence since I could scarcely speak.’
      • ‘No such consolation is offered by Fiennes' vision of the featureless infinities of downtown LA.’
      • ‘Those are the authentic prescribed vignettes, but, like Scrabble's alphabetic squares, there is an infinity of ways in which to range and rearrange them, and the message that they convey.’
      • ‘The opening sequence of his six-minute abstract video drags you out of the surrounding blackness and absorbs you into a receding infinity of coloured rectangles which may be an animated painting by Josef Albers.’
      • ‘You'll see that this stretch of Nevada is pretty damn ugly: infinities, in every direction, of dry, brownish-gray earth that is too bland to be called dirt, too soiled to be called soil.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, this second favor was rarely granted; there was an infinity of claims, blind as well as enlightened, as it may please you now to call them.’
      • ‘They present an infinity of variable shapes and colors and features.’
      • ‘It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands.’
      • ‘Shows such as these and an infinity of others, occupy a vast portion of viewing time on our screens, and merit an entire column on their own.’
      • ‘These questions and others are being asked at hundreds of meetings and in an infinity of conversations, memos and e-mails.’
      • ‘Knowledge infinities are not now available to us, nor are they ever likely to be.’
      • ‘There is no end to this inconceivable infinity of infinities’.’
      • ‘I don't want to be part of a production line. I'd prefer, instead, to have no names or an infinity of names, and to make identification through a binding of addresses against possibilities.’
      • ‘Every architecture project starts with an infinity of possibilities.’
      • ‘I suppose there must be a perfect supermarket somewhere, on the same kind of principle that has the works of Shakespeare produced by an infinity of typing monkeys.’
      • ‘But this spectrum is at right angles to the first, generating a person-space with an infinity of different potential placements.’
      infinite number, unlimited number, very great number, abundance, profusion, host, multitude, mass, wealth
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    2. 1.2 A point in space or time that is or seems infinitely distant:
      ‘the lawns stretched into infinity’
      • ‘Shelves of toiletries stood on either side, stretching to infinity.’
      • ‘The posters - showing images such as a parking lot full of spaces for disabled people and a length of highway lined with corpses stretching to infinity - are arresting and partly succeed.’
      • ‘To our north, the vast featureless Kazakh steppes, an area the size of Western Europe, stretched away seemingly to infinity.’
      • ‘The lights on the Bay Bridge seemed stretched out to infinity.’
      • ‘The held tones become vitally important as the piece progresses and the primary motif slows to a crawl; with more space between the notes the connecting drone that stretches to infinity becomes the focus.’
      • ‘No longer are they confined by the walls of a classroom; instead, the empty field stretches out to infinity, as the fog hides the horizon.’
      • ‘The subway car seemed to be elongating, the metallic ceiling stretching to infinity as he struck out at me with hands that weren't actually hands, but talons of nameless rage.’
      • ‘The next few minutes and miles seemed to stretch on to infinity.’
      • ‘Comfy leggings and cycle shorts - they won't stretch to infinity, though, so you may need to buy maternity versions eventually.’
      • ‘Beyond the window, space stretched out to infinity, looking coldly back at them.’
      • ‘We pass a stretch limo carrying a woman with a masklike face that has been stretched to infinity.’
      • ‘The plains still stretched to infinity and the mountains appeared no closer even at maximum zoom.’
      • ‘A line that stretched from here to infinity appeared in front of me.’
      • ‘Other than a few inquisitive goats and a lot of cow dung, the road was empty, and it seemed to stretch on to infinity, a thin gray ribbon cutting across the arid desert.’
      • ‘The pale grey concrete floor changes here to dark blue and cubicles are hidden behind a screen of brilliant pink plaster, stretched to infinity by a mirrored wall.’
      • ‘This is abundantly clear in his discussion of infinity.’
      • ‘It was never-ending, a black blanket that stretched to infinity.’
      • ‘Intent is what sends a shaman through a wall, through space, to infinity.’
      • ‘But once you're at the summit, the views appear to stretch to infinity.’
      • ‘In fact, at the start of school holidays it stretched to infinity and if it seems a little shorter now, that is only in the same way as a grown-up child revisits the old family home and finds that it has shrunk.’
  • 2Mathematics
    A number greater than any assignable quantity or countable number (symbol ∞):

    ‘the transmission approaches 100% as the frequency tends to infinity’
    • ‘Euler asserts that the sum of the harmonic series equals the natural logarithm of infinity plus a quantity that is nearly a constant.’
    • ‘Bolzano's theories of mathematical infinity anticipated Georg Cantor's theory of infinite sets.’
    • ‘The statue had the infinity symbol on it and was white in color.’
    • ‘As classically conceived, a real number can be thought of as an infinite decimal, a completed infinity.’
    • ‘A simple infinity symbol should not need six strikes.’
    • ‘It is interesting to contrast the introduction of i into the number system with what happens when one tries to introduce the number infinity.’
    • ‘In 1874 Georg Cantor worked out a system of degrees of infinity that solved the problem once and for all and greatly increased mathematicians' understanding of infinity and set theory.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French infinite or Latin infinitas, from infinitus (see infinite).

Pronunciation:

infinity

/ɪnˈfɪnɪti/