definiteness(redirected from Definiteness (Grammar))
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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.
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.]
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).