- The definition of definitive is something that is settled in a final way or something that is authoritative.
- An example of something that would be described as definitive is a conclusive decision made by an authority figure.
- A use of the adjective definitive would be a definitive history book, which would be a complete history on a specific subject.
- that decides or settles in a final way; decisive; conclusive: a definitive answer
- most nearly complete and accurate; authoritative: a definitive biography
- serving to define; limiting or distinguishing precisely: definitive details
- designating or of a postage stamp for regular use, issued for an unlimited period
Origin of definitiveMiddle English diffinitif ; from Old French definitif ; from Classical Latin definitivus ; from past participle of definire, define
- Serving to define or identify as distinct from others: “The Enlightenment pushed this project further trying to make science and its hallmark method definitive of the rational life” (Peter Machamer).
- Supplying or being a final settlement or decision; conclusive: “The fall of the city Constantine had founded marked the definitive end of the Christian Eastern Empire” (James Carroll). See Synonyms at decisive.
- Authoritative and complete: a definitive biography. See Usage Note at definite.
- Mass produced in indefinite quantities over an indefinite period of time. Used of postage stamps.
- Biology Fully formed or developed, as an organ or structure.
- Grammar A word that defines or limits, such as the definite article or a demonstrative pronoun.
- A definitive postage stamp.
(comparative more definitive, superlative most definitive)
From Middle French définitif