Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


a. Clearly defined; explicitly precise: a definite statement of the terms of the will. See Synonyms at explicit.
b. Forthright and unambiguous: The doctor was very definite about what foods you should avoid.
2. Clearly developed or firmly decided: no definite idea of what to do for a career.
3. Readily distinguished or certain: at a definite disadvantage.
4. Grammar Limiting or particularizing.
5. Botany
a. Of a fixed number usually less than 20, as certain floral organs, especially stamens.
b. Cymose; determinate.

[Middle English diffinite, defined, from Latin dēfīnītus, past participle of dēfīnīre, to define; see define.]

def′i·nite·ly adv.
def′i·nite·ness n.
Usage Note: Definite and definitive both apply to what is precisely defined or explicitly set forth. But definitive most often refers specifically to a judgment or description that serves as a standard or reference point for others, as in the definitive decision of the court (which sets forth a final resolution of a judicial matter) or the definitive biography of Nelson (that is, the biography that sets the standard against which all other accounts of Nelson's life must be measured).
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.definiteness - the quality of being predictable with great confidence
conclusiveness, finality, decisiveness - the quality of being final or definitely settled; "the finality of death"
predictability - the quality of being predictable


nBestimmtheit f; (of answer, decision)Klarheit f, → Eindeutigkeit f
References in classic literature ?
Unaccustomed to action or responsibility,--full of horror at what she had seen, and afraid to inquire, or almost to imagine, how it had come to pass,--affrighted at the fatality which seemed to pursue her brother,--stupefied by the dim, thick, stifling atmosphere of dread which filled the house as with a death-smell, and obliterated all definiteness of thought,--she yielded without a question, and on the instant, to the will which Clifford expressed.
Not but the meteor may have shown itself at that point, burning duskily through a veil of cloud, but with no such shape as his guilty imagination gave it, or, at least, with so little definiteness, that another's guilt might have seen another symbol in it.
My interviews with my wife had become so brief and so rarely solitary, that I had no opportunity of perceiving these images in her mind with more definiteness.
Of the date of this origin, however, I grieve that I can only speak with that species of indefinite definiteness which mathematicians are, at times, forced to put up with in certain algebraic formulae.
Alfred Bonnycastle all winter indeed chafed a little at the definiteness of some of his wife's reserves; it struck him that for Washington their society was really a little too good.
Such impressions as these moved her vaguely, and without strict definiteness.
Justice, at that epoch, troubled itself very little about the clearness and definiteness of a criminal suit.
With the precision and definiteness customary in addressing prisoners, and which is supposed to preclude human frailty, Pierre like the others was questioned as to who he was, where he had been, with what object, and so on.
He hated the blue and white, the intensity and definiteness, the hum and heat of the south; the landscape seemed to him as hard and as romantic as a cardboard background on the stage, and the mountain but a wooden screen against a sheet painted blue.
The right word is always a power, and communicates its definiteness to our action.
Sergius sternly declined, but was horrified by the definiteness of his desire.
But in Jerry's vocabulary, "Mister Haggin" possessed all the definiteness of sound and meaning that the word "master" possesses in the vocabularies of humans in relation to their dogs.