Meaning of DEFINITE in English

def ‧ i ‧ nite S3 AC /ˈdefɪnət, ˈdefɪnɪt, ˈdef ə nət/ BrE AmE adjective

[ Word Family: verb : ↑ define ; noun : ↑ definition ; adverb : ↑ definitely ≠ ↑ indefinitely ; adjective : ↑ definite ≠ ↑ indefinite ]

[ Word Family: adverb : ↑ definitely ≠ ↑ indefinitely ; adjective : ↑ definite ≠ ↑ indefinite ]

[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: definitus , past participle of definire ; ⇨ ↑ define ]

1 . clearly known, seen, or stated SYN clear OPP indefinite :

It’s impossible for me to give you a definite answer.

We need to record sufficient data to enable definite conclusions to be reached.

He’d shown definite signs of resigning himself to the situation.

2 . a definite arrangement, promise etc will happen in the way that someone has said ⇨ indefinite :

Fix a definite date for the delivery of your computer.

3 . [not before noun] saying something very firmly so that people understand exactly what you mean

definite about

She’s not definite about retiring from the game.

• • •


▪ certain if something is certain, you are completely sure that it will happen or is true:

Success seems certain.


It is almost certain that there will be a change of government.


Nobody knows exactly who built the manor, but it is certain that an architect called John Sturges supplied the drawings.

▪ definite if something is definite, it is certain because someone has officially stated that it will happen, is true etc:

I hope you can give me a definite answer soon.


The wedding will be next summer but a definite date has not been arranged yet.


I’ve got a good chance of getting the job, but it’s not definite yet.

▪ inevitable if something, especially something bad, is inevitable, it is certain to happen and you cannot do anything to prevent it:

War now seems inevitable.


It was inevitable that he would find out her secret sooner or later.


Facial wrinkles are the inevitable result of aging.

▪ be bound to if something is bound to happen, it is very likely to happen, especially because that is what usually happens in that kind of situation. Be bound to is less formal than certain and is very common in everyday spoken English:

The kids are bound to be hungry when they get home – they always are.


My car broke down today. It was bound to happen sooner or later.

▪ be assured of something formal to be certain to get something good, or to be successful:

After the success of its recent single, the band is now assured of a contract with a major record company.


He is is virtually assured of becoming the next prime minister.


Our clients are assured of comfortable accommodation and the attention of our trained staff.

▪ something is a foregone conclusion if something is a foregone conclusion, its result is certain even though it has not happened yet:

They were winning by such a large margin that victory seemed to be a foregone conclusion.


Party members believe it is a foregone conclusion that he will resign.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.