a. Having bounds; limited: a finite list of choices; our finite fossil fuel reserves.
b. Existing, persisting, or enduring for a limited time only; impermanent.
a. Being neither infinite nor infinitesimal.
b. Having a positive or negative numerical value; not zero.
c. Possible to reach or exceed by counting. Used of a number.
d. Having a limited number of elements. Used of a set.
3. Grammar Of or relating to any of the forms of a verb that can occur on their own in a main clause and that can formally express distinctions in person, number, tense, mood, and voice, often by means of conjugation, as the verb sees in She sees the sign.
A finite thing.
[Middle English finit, from Latin fīnītus, past participle of fīnīre, to limit, from fīnis, end.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.