infinite


infinite
infinite, eternal, sempiternal, boundless, illimitable, uncircumscribed mean having neither beginning nor end or being without known limits.
Infinite especially as applied to God or his attributes implies immeasurability or an incapacity for being estimated in any conceivable respect (as duration or extent)
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great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinitePs 147:5

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great are thy works, Jehovah! infinite thy power! what thought can measure thee, or tongue relate thee— Milton

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In mathematical and scientific use the term usually stresses indeterminableness; often it implies that no limits can be set to which a thing does or may extend, or that no point at which it ends can be discerned; thus, the number of positive integers is infinite since no one can set a limit to the number that can be indicated; an infinite decimal is one (as a repeating decimal) that cannot be brought to a termination
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the total number of stars is supposed, even by those who reject the idea of infinite extension, to run into thousands of millions— Inge

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In more general use, infinite usually implies not only exceeding greatness or vastness but indefiniteness or seeming endlessness of extent
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Chinese landscape [painting] is certainly preeminent ... in suggesting infinite horizons, the look of mountains . . . melting away into remote sky— Binyon

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the Truth ... is of necessity infinite and so is not for any poor finite creature like man— Babbitt

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the infinite ingenuity of man— Webb

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Eternal, in its earliest and still prevailing sense, implies having neither beginning nor end in time; it is therefore applied chiefly to God, in the sense of being uncaused or uncreated and unending
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the eternal God is thy refuge— Deut 33:27

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But it may be applied with essentially the same meaning to things and especially to abstractions and concepts for which no beginning is known or under present conditions is discoverable, and for which no end can be foreseen or predicted
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argue that matter is eternal

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the idea that the world is eternal is now seldom advanced

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the consideration of the general flux of events leads to this analysis into an underlying eternal energy— Whitehead

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the tradition that nature is ruled by hard, eternal, immutable laws— Cohen

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In more general use eternal may be indistinguishable in meaning from endless and is then applied to things with a known or evident beginning but no ending or an ending infinitely remote or completely indeterminable
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the Christian's hope of eternal life

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no eternal historical trend toward economic equality can be discovered— Sorokin

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This sense is frequent in hyperbolic use in which it may imply either endless duration or constant recurrence often to the point of weariness or disgust
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the eternal effort to discover cheap and agreeable substitutes for hard work— Justice Holmes

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the staircase door opened with its eternal creak—Bennett

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but it also applies to something which, though it changes in appearance, form, or method, never dies out
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Macaulay, who has a special affinity for the eternal schoolboy— Inge

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princes were mortal, but the commonwealth eternalGraves

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Sempiternal, a bookish word, is an intensive of eternal with somewhat greater emphasis upon the continuity of the thing so described
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all truth is from the sempiternal source of Light Divine— Co wper

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he did not really believe that infinity was infinite or that the eternal was also sempiternalShaw

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but it is chiefly a hyperbolic term
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dull dinners . . . with the sempiternal saddle of mutton— Jekyll

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the oldest, deepest (and seemingly sempiternal) controversy involves the definition of itself— Hentoff

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Boundless implies little more than an apparent lack of restrictions or bounds, or a capacity for extending, expanding, or increasing indefinitely; it often applies to something which so far exceeds in range, measure, or amount what is usual for a thing of its kind that it staggers the mind
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boundless wealth

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boundless impudence

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my bounty is as boundless as the sea—Shak.

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a boundless command of the rhetoric in which the vulgar express hatred and contempt— Macaulay

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this long and sure-set liking, this boundless will to please— Housman

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In mathematical and scientific usage, boundless applies specifically to a surface or a space (as a closed curved line or a spherical surface) which has the property of permitting an object starting from any point in the space and proceeding by one mathematical law to return to the same point without being interrupted
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the surface of a sphere is boundless but not infinite

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Illimitable also stresses a lack of bounds or limits, and may be used in place of boundless
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an illimitable appetite—Stephen

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but it is often applied specifically to something (as a distance) that can theoretically be measured in extent but in actuality exceeds the capacity of human ingenuity or of human instruments for measurement or determination of extent
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the heavens' illimitable height— Spenser

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the illimitable distances between the earth and the stars

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Uncircumscribed implies the lack of a determinable limit in any conceivable direction; it applies to something that extends or expands or seems to extend or expand in all directions in the manner of radii from the center of a circle
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uncircumscribed freedom

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so arbitrary and uncircumscribed a Power— Charles I

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the lighthouse symbol penetrates the novel with uncircumscribed power— Robert Humphrey

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Antonyms: finite
Contrasted words: circumscribed, limited, restricted (see LIMIT vb): *dependent, conditional, contingent, relative

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • infinité — [ ɛ̃finite ] n. f. • 1214; lat. infinitas 1 ♦ Vx ou didact. Caractère de ce qui est infini; l infini. « l infinité des temps » (La Bruyère). L homme « n est produit que pour l infinité » (Pascal ). 2 ♦ Quantité infinie, nombre infini. Système d… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Infinite — In fi*nite, a. [L. infinitus: cf. F. infini. See {In } not, and {Finite}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Unlimited or boundless, in time or space; as, infinite duration or distance. [1913 Webster] Whatever is finite, as finite, will admit of no comparative… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • infinité — Infinité. s. f. Qualité de ce qui est infini. L esprit humain ne sçauroit comprendre l infinité de Dieu. quelques Philosophes soustiennent l infinité des parties dans la matiere. Il signifie aussi, Un grand nombre. Une infinité de personnes.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Infinite — Студийный альбом Stratovarius Дата выпуска 28 марта 2000 …   Википедия

  • Infinite — In fi*nite, n. 1. That which is infinite; boundless space or duration; infinity; boundlessness. [1913 Webster] Not till the weight is heaved from off the air, and the thunders roll down the horizon, will the serene light of God flow upon us, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Infinite — Album par Eminem Sortie 12 novembre 1996 Enregistrement N …   Wikipédia en Français

  • infinite — [in′fə nit] adj. [ME < L infinitus: see IN 2 & FINITE] 1. lacking limits or bounds; extending beyond measure or comprehension: without beginning or end; endless 2. very great; vast; immense 3. a) Math. indefinitely large; greater than any …   English World dictionary

  • Infinite — álbum de Eminem Publicación 12 de noviembre de 1996 Grabación 1995 1996, Detroit Género(s) Underground hip hop, Hardcore hip hop …   Wikipedia Español

  • Infinite — (engl. unendlich) steht für: Infinite (Eminem Album), ein Album des Rappers Eminem Infinite (Stratovarius Album), ein Album von Stratovarius Infinite (Band), eine südkoreanische Popband Diese Seite ist eine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • infinite — (adj.) late 14c., eternal, limitless, also extremely great in number, from O.Fr. infinit endless, boundless, and directly from L. infinitus unbounded, unlimited, from in not, opposite of (see IN (Cf. in ) (1)) + finitus defining, definite, from… …   Etymology dictionary


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