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Indefinitely vs. Infinitely: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on November 19, 2023
Indefinitely means for an unspecified or extended period, without a defined end, while infinitely refers to something limitless or unbounded in extent, quantity, or duration.

Key Differences

Indefinitely implies a lack of a specific timeframe or end date, suggesting that something will continue for an unknown or unstated duration. Infinitely, on the other hand, suggests that something has no limits or boundaries in terms of space, quantity, or extent.
The use of indefinitely often occurs in contexts where something is expected to continue, but the exact duration is uncertain or yet to be decided. In contrast, infinitely is used in contexts implying endlessness or an immeasurable scale, often in a more abstract or theoretical sense.
Indefinitely can imply a temporary state, even if the duration is unknown. It often suggests that while something is ongoing, it could potentially end if certain conditions are met. Infinitely, however, conveys a sense of perpetuity, without any implication of a possible end.
In a practical sense, indefinitely is more commonly used in everyday language to describe things like postponed events, ongoing situations, or extended deadlines. Infinitely is frequently used in mathematical, scientific, or philosophical discussions to describe concepts without any limits or end.
The term indefinitely is more subjective, as it depends on external factors or decisions that could change over time. Infinitely, in contrast, is absolute and objective, denoting an unchanging state of boundlessness or endlessness.

Comparison Chart


For an unknown or unspecified period
Without limits or end


Potential end, but unknown when
No potential end

Usage Context

Often practical and situational
Theoretical, abstract, or scientific


Subjective, dependent on external factors
Absolute, inherent

Common Examples

Postponed events, extended deadlines
Mathematical concepts, universal truths

Indefinitely and Infinitely Definitions


For an unspecified period.
The meeting has been postponed indefinitely.


To an endless or unlimited degree.
She is infinitely patient with her students.


Continuing for an unknown duration.
The exhibit is extended indefinitely due to its popularity.


Extremely or immeasurably.
His new book is infinitely better than his last.


With no definite limits.
He's been given indefinitely to complete the project.


In a limitless or infinite manner.
The possibilities are infinitely varied.


Without a planned end.
She decided to stay in the city indefinitely.


Without any limits or bounds.
Space is infinitely vast.


Unclear; vague.


Beyond measure or calculation.
The stars seemed infinitely numerous.


Lacking precise limits
An indefinite leave of absence.


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


Uncertain; undecided
Indefinite about their plans.


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


In a manner that is not definite.
An indefinitely determined fossil


For a long time, with no defined end.




In an indefinite manner or degree; without any settled limitation; vaguely; not with certainty or exactness; as, to use a word indefinitely.
If the world be indefinitely extended, that is, so far as no human intellect can fancy any bound of it.


To an indefinite extent; for an indefinite time;
This could go on indefinitely


Without a fixed termination.
The contract allows for indefinite renewal.


How is indefinitely used in legal terms?

It's used to describe actions or conditions without a specified end date.

What does infinitely mean?

It refers to something limitless or unbounded in extent, quantity, or duration.

Is infinitely always related to size or quantity?

It can refer to size, quantity, degree, or the abstract concept of endlessness.

Can infinitely be used in everyday speech?

Yes, often in a hyperbolic sense to emphasize a large degree or amount.

Do mathematicians use infinitely in calculations?

Yes, especially in concepts like infinity in calculus.

Can something be both indefinitely and infinitely ongoing?

In theory, yes, but indefinitely usually implies potential limits while infinitely does not.

Is infinitely a scientific term?

It's often used in science to describe concepts without physical or theoretical limits.

Can indefinitely mean forever?

Not necessarily; it implies an unknown duration, but not necessarily forever.

What does indefinitely mean?

It means for an unspecified or extended period without a defined end.

Is indefinitely a determinate period?

No, it refers to an indeterminate or unspecified period.

Does indefinitely imply a longer duration than temporarily?

Generally, yes, as it suggests an unknown or extended duration.

Can infinitely describe human qualities?

Yes, like saying someone is infinitely kind or wise.

Does indefinitely have a negative connotation?

It can, especially if it refers to delays or uncertainty.

What's an example of indefinitely in everyday life?

A road closure without a specified reopening date.

What is an indefinitely long time?

A time period that is unspecified and potentially very long.

How is infinitely used in philosophy?

To discuss concepts that are boundless or eternal.

Can infinitely be used in literature?

Yes, often to describe vastness or endless qualities in a poetic sense.

Can a subscription be indefinitely renewable?

Yes, it means the subscription can continue without a set end date.

Does infinitely have limits in a practical sense?

In practical terms, it's often used to imply very large or uncountable amounts.

Can a project be extended indefinitely?

Yes, it means the project’s end date is not determined.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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