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Indefinite vs. Infinite: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Indefinite implies an unclear, unspecified extent or duration, whereas infinite refers to something without any limits or end.
Indefinite vs. Infinite

Key Differences

Indefinite refers to something that is not clearly defined or determined; it lacks precise limits or boundaries. Infinite, in contrast, describes something that is limitless or endless in space, duration, or extent. While indefinite suggests a lack of clarity or specificity, infinite implies an unending continuation or immeasurability.
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In the context of time, indefinite can describe a period that is not fixed or known, such as an indefinite delay. Infinite, on the other hand, would refer to time that extends endlessly, without beginning or end. The indefinite is temporal uncertainty, whereas the infinite is eternal continuity.
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From a spatial perspective, something indefinite might have vague or undefined boundaries, like an area of indefinite size. Infinite space, however, would extend boundlessly, without any limits. Thus, indefinite connotes ambiguity in extent, while infinite denotes unbounded expanse.
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In terms of usage, indefinite is often applied in more practical, everyday contexts, indicating something temporary but unspecified, like an indefinite appointment. Infinite is more commonly used in philosophical or mathematical contexts to indicate concepts beyond any finite understanding or measurement.
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Conceptually, indefinite can imply potential for definition or limitation in the future, as in an agreement with indefinite terms. Infinite, however, rules out this possibility, embodying the concept of endlessness or immeasurability in its very essence, such as the infinite universe.
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Lacking clear boundaries or limits
Endless or unbounded in extent
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Time

Unspecified duration
Endless duration
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Space

Unclear boundaries
Boundless extent
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Quantitative Value

Not precisely quantifiable
Beyond any quantifiable measure
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Contextual Usage

More practical, everyday contexts
Philosophical, mathematical contexts
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Indefinite and Infinite Definitions

Indefinite

Undefined Terms
The agreement was left indefinite for future discussion.
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Infinite

Endless in Extent
The universe is considered to be infinite.
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Indefinite

Unlimited Flexibility
The contract allowed for indefinite changes.
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Infinite

Immeasurable in Degree
The possibilities seemed infinite.
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Indefinite

Ambiguous Duration
The meeting was postponed for an indefinite period.
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Infinite

Unending in Nature
The game appeared to have infinite levels.
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Indefinite

Unclear; vague.
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Oct 19, 2023

Infinite

Unbounded in Time
Their love was described as infinite.
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Indefinite

Lacking precise limits
An indefinite leave of absence.
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Infinite

Limitless in Quantity
He had an infinite supply of patience.
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Indefinite

Uncertain; undecided
Indefinite about their plans.
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Oct 19, 2023

Infinite

Having no boundaries or limits; impossible to measure or calculate.
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Oct 19, 2023

Indefinite

Without limit; forever, or until further notice; not definite.
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Oct 19, 2023

Infinite

Immeasurably great or large; boundless
Infinite patience.
A discovery of infinite importance.
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Oct 19, 2023

Indefinite

Vague or unclear.
She gave an indefinite answer which nobody really understood.
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Oct 19, 2023

Infinite

Existing beyond or being greater than any arbitrarily large value.
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Indefinite

Undecided or uncertain.
I'm still indefinite about what I'm going to study at college.
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Infinite

Unlimited in spatial extent
A line of infinite length.
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Oct 19, 2023

Indefinite

(mathematics) Being an integral without specified limits.
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Infinite

Of or relating to a set capable of being put into one-to-one correspondence with a proper subset of itself.
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Indefinite

(linguistics) Designating an unspecified or unidentified person or thing or group of persons or things
The indefinite article
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Infinite

Something infinite.
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Indefinite

(grammar) A word or phrase that designates an unspecified or unidentified person or thing or group of persons or things.
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Oct 19, 2023

Infinite

Indefinably large, countlessly great; immense.
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Oct 19, 2023

Indefinite

Not definite; not limited, defined, or specified; not explicit; not determined or fixed upon; not precise; uncertain; vague; confused; obscure; as, an indefinite time, plan, etc.
It were to be wished that . . . men would leave off that indefinite way of vouching, "the chymists say this," or "the chymists affirm that."
The time of this last is left indefinite.
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Infinite

Boundless, endless, without end or limits; innumerable.
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Indefinite

Having no determined or certain limits; large and unmeasured, though not infinite; unlimited; as, indefinite space; the indefinite extension of a straight line.
Though it is not infinite, it may be indefinite; though it is not boundless in itself, it may be so to human comprehension.
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Infinite

(with plural noun) Infinitely many.
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Indefinite

Boundless; infinite.
Indefinite and omnipresent God,Inhabiting eternity.
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Oct 19, 2023

Infinite

(mathematics) Greater than any positive quantity or magnitude; limitless.
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Oct 19, 2023

Indefinite

Too numerous or variable to make a particular enumeration important; - said of the parts of a flower, and the like. Also, indeterminate.
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Oct 19, 2023

Infinite

Having infinitely many elements.
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Oct 19, 2023

Indefinite

Vague or not clearly defined or stated;
Must you be so indefinite?
Amorphous blots of color having vague and indefinite edges
He would not answer so indefinite a proposal
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Oct 19, 2023

Infinite

(grammar) Not limited by person or number.
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Oct 19, 2023

Indefinite

Not decided or not known;
Were indefinite about their plans
Plans are indefinite
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Infinite

(music) Capable of endless repetition; said of certain forms of the canon, also called perpetual fugues, constructed so that their ends lead to their beginnings.
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Indefinite

Unclear Extent
The land stretched out in an indefinite expanse.
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Infinite

Infinitely many.
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Indefinite

Non-specific Nature
She gave an indefinite answer to the question.
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Infinite

Something that is infinite in nature.
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Oct 19, 2023

Infinite

(video games) A combo that can be used repeatedly without interruption.
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Oct 19, 2023

Infinite

Unlimited or boundless, in time or space; as, infinite duration or distance.
Whatever is finite, as finite, will admit of no comparative relation with infinity; for whatever is less than infinite is still infinitely distant from infinity; and lower than infinite distance the lowest or least can not sink.
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Oct 19, 2023

Infinite

Without limit in power, capacity, knowledge, or excellence; boundless; immeasurably or inconceivably great; perfect; as, the infinite wisdom and goodness of God; - opposed to finite.
Great is our Lord, and of great power; his understanding is infinite.
O God, how infinite thou art!
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Infinite

Indefinitely large or extensive; great; vast; immense; gigantic; prodigious.
Infinite riches in a little room.
Which infinite calamity shall causeTo human life.
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Oct 19, 2023

Infinite

Greater than any assignable quantity of the same kind; - said of certain quantities.
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Oct 19, 2023

Infinite

Capable of endless repetition; - said of certain forms of the canon, called also perpetual fugues, so constructed that their ends lead to their beginnings, and the performance may be incessantly repeated.
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Oct 19, 2023

Infinite

That which is infinite; boundless space or duration; infinity; boundlessness.
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 blue infinite embrace us again.
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Infinite

An infinite quantity or magnitude.
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Infinite

An infinity; an incalculable or very great number.
Glittering chains, embroidered richly o'erWith infinite of pearls and finest gold.
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Infinite

The Infinite Being; God; the Almighty.
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Infinite

Having no limits or boundaries in time or space or extent or magnitude;
The infinite ingenuity of man
Infinite wealth
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Infinite

Of verbs; having neither person nor number nor mood (as a participle or gerund or infinitive);
Infinite verb form
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Infinite

Too numerous to be counted;
Incalculable riches
Countless hours
An infinite number of reasons
Innumerable difficulties
The multitudinous seas
Myriad stars
Untold thousands
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Infinite

Total and all-embracing;
God's infinite wisdom
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Do indefinite and infinite have synonyms?

Yes, but each word's synonyms reflect their distinct meanings.
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Dec 06, 2023

Is indefinite always related to time?

No, it can refer to any unspecified or unclear extent.
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Dec 06, 2023

Can something become less indefinite?

Yes, as more information or definition is provided.
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Can indefinite mean temporary?

Indirectly, as it implies a lack of permanent definition.
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What does indefinite mean in a contract?

It refers to terms or durations not clearly defined or set.
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Dec 06, 2023

Is infinite always a large amount?

Yes, it implies something beyond any measurable size or quantity.
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Dec 06, 2023

Can infinite apply to tangible objects?

Rarely; it's mostly used for abstract concepts like time or space.
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Dec 06, 2023

Is indefinite a negative term?

Not necessarily; it depends on context.
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Dec 06, 2023

Can something be both indefinite and infinite?

Conceptually, no. Indefinite implies potential limits; infinite does not.
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Dec 06, 2023

Is infinite related to the concept of eternity?

Yes, both imply something without beginning or end.
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Dec 06, 2023

Is infinite a common term in mathematics?

Yes, particularly in discussions of limits and unboundedness.
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Dec 06, 2023

Can indefinite refer to an unknown location?

Yes, if the location's specifics are unclear.
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Dec 06, 2023

Does infinite have a precise definition?

Yes, it specifically means without end or limits.
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Dec 06, 2023

Can indefinite imply a decision hasn't been made?

Yes, it can indicate pending or unresolved matters.
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Does infinite have practical applications?

Less so; it's more theoretical, especially in science and philosophy.
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Dec 06, 2023

Can something indefinite become definite?

Yes, when more details or limits are established.
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Dec 06, 2023

Does infinite always imply a positive concept?

Not necessarily; it's neutral and context-dependent.
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Dec 06, 2023

How is indefinite used in legal contexts?

It often refers to open-ended terms or durations in agreements.
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Dec 06, 2023

Can indefinite be quantified?

Not precisely, as it lacks specific boundaries or limits.
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Is there an opposite word for infinite?

Finite, meaning having clear limits or ends.
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Dec 06, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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