# Indefinite vs. Infinite: What's the Difference?

By Harlon Moss || Updated on May 23, 2024
"Indefinite" means not clearly defined or having no exact limits, while "infinite" refers to something without any bounds or limits, often used in a mathematical or philosophical context.

## Key Differences

"Indefinite" describes something that lacks precise limits or clear definition. For example, an indefinite leave from work does not have a specified end date. "Infinite," on the other hand, denotes something that is boundless or endless. In mathematics, infinity represents a quantity larger than any finite number.
Indefinite is often used in everyday language to describe situations, periods, or amounts that are not clearly fixed or determined. It suggests an element of flexibility or ambiguity. In contrast, infinite is more absolute and is frequently encountered in scientific, mathematical, and philosophical discussions. It conveys a sense of never-ending magnitude or extent.
Indefinite can apply to both tangible and intangible things, highlighting their undefined nature. For example, someone might have an indefinite answer to a question, meaning the response lacks specificity. Infinite, however, is usually applied to abstract concepts like time, space, or numbers, indicating limitless continuity.
The two terms share a common theme of lacking clear boundaries, but "indefinite" focuses on the lack of definition or certainty, while "infinite" emphasizes the complete absence of limits or ends.

## Comparison Chart

### Definition

Not clearly defined or having no exact limits
Without any bounds or limits

### Usage Context

Everyday situations with vague or flexible limits
Scientific, mathematical, and philosophical contexts

### Nature

Uncertainty or vagueness
Absolute boundlessness or endlessness

### Example Context

Indefinite leave from work
Infinite space

### Application

Tangible and intangible things
Abstract concepts

## Indefinite and Infinite Definitions

#### Indefinite

Not clearly defined or determined.
The project timeline remains indefinite.

#### Infinite

Extremely large or great.
There are infinite possibilities in life.

#### Indefinite

Lacking exact limits or boundaries.
They gave an indefinite answer to the proposal.

#### Infinite

Never-ending or endless.
The mathematician studied infinite series.

#### Indefinite

Not specified or fixed.
He took an indefinite break from his career.

#### Infinite

Not measurable or countable.
The universe is often considered infinite.

#### Indefinite

Subject to change or extension.
The meeting was postponed for an indefinite period.

#### Infinite

Having no boundaries or limits; impossible to measure or calculate.

Unclear; vague.

#### Infinite

Immeasurably great or large; boundless
Infinite patience.
A discovery of infinite importance.

#### Indefinite

Lacking precise limits
An indefinite leave of absence.

#### Infinite

Existing beyond or being greater than any arbitrarily large value.

#### Indefinite

Uncertain; undecided
Indefinite about their plans.

#### Infinite

Unlimited in spatial extent
A line of infinite length.

#### Indefinite

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

#### Infinite

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

#### Indefinite

Vague or unclear.
She gave an indefinite answer which nobody really understood.

#### Infinite

Something infinite.

#### Indefinite

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

#### Infinite

Indefinably large, countlessly great; immense.

#### Indefinite

(mathematics) Being an integral without specified limits.

#### Infinite

Boundless, endless, without end or limits; innumerable.

#### Indefinite

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

#### Infinite

(with plural noun) Infinitely many.

#### Indefinite

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

#### Infinite

(mathematics) Greater than any positive quantity or magnitude; limitless.

#### 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.

#### Infinite

Having infinitely many elements.

#### 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.

#### Infinite

(grammar) Not limited by person or number.

#### Indefinite

Boundless; infinite.
Indefinite and omnipresent God,Inhabiting eternity.

#### 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.

#### Indefinite

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

Infinitely many.

#### 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

#### Infinite

Something that is infinite in nature.

#### Indefinite

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

#### Infinite

(video games) A combo that can be used repeatedly without interruption.

#### 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.

#### 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!

#### Infinite

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

#### Infinite

Greater than any assignable quantity of the same kind; - said of certain quantities.

#### 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.

#### 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.

#### Infinite

An infinite quantity or magnitude.

#### Infinite

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

#### Infinite

The Infinite Being; God; the Almighty.

#### Infinite

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

#### Infinite

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

#### Infinite

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

#### Infinite

Total and all-embracing;
God's infinite wisdom

#### Infinite

Without any bounds or limits.
The concept of infinite space fascinates scientists.

#### Infinite

Unlimited in extent or duration.
They felt an infinite amount of love for their child.

## FAQs

#### How is "indefinite" used in a sentence?

e.g., She took an indefinite leave of absence from work.

#### Can "indefinite" refer to time?

Yes, it can refer to a period without a specific end.

#### What does "indefinite" mean?

Indefinite means not clearly defined or having no exact limits.

#### Can "infinite" be used for tangible objects?

Generally, it's used for abstract concepts, but can describe anything without limits.

#### Is "infinite" used in everyday language?

Less commonly, usually in more formal or technical contexts.

#### What does "infinite" mean?

Infinite means without any bounds or limits.

#### How is "infinite" used in a sentence?

e.g., The universe is often described as infinite.

#### What is an example of something infinite?

Infinite numbers in mathematics.

#### Can a period of time be infinite?

Theoretically, yes, if it has no end.

#### Is "infinite" only used in mathematics?

No, it can also describe anything without limits, like space or possibilities.

#### Does "indefinite" imply uncertainty?

Yes, it implies vagueness or lack of specificity.

#### What is an example of something indefinite?

An indefinite answer to a question.

#### Does "indefinite" mean the same as "infinite"?

No, indefinite means not clearly defined, while infinite means without limits.

#### Can something be both indefinite and infinite?

Typically, they describe different aspects; indefinite is about clarity, infinite about bounds.

#### Does "indefinite" suggest flexibility?

Yes, it implies something can change or is not fixed.

#### Is "infinite" a concept in physics?

Yes, especially in discussing the universe and space.

#### Is the word "indefinite" often used in legal contexts?

Yes, it can describe periods or terms without fixed limits.

#### Can emotions be described as indefinite?

Yes, if their intensity or duration is unclear.

#### Can a quantity be infinite?

Yes, especially in mathematical contexts.

#### Is "indefinite" positive or negative?

Neutral; context determines its connotation.