When you have only a single grain of rice, this is an example of a time when you have an infinitesimal amount of rice.
- too small to be measured
- Math. of or pertaining to an infinitesimal
Origin of infinitesimalModern Latin infinitesimus ; from Classical Latin infinitus (see infinite), influenced, influence by centesimus, hundredth ; from centum, hundred
- an infinitesimal quantity
- Math. a variable that approaches zero as a limit
- Immeasurably or incalculably minute.
- Mathematics Capable of having values approaching zero as a limit.
- An immeasurably or incalculably minute amount or quantity.
- Mathematics A function or variable continuously approaching zero as a limit.
Origin of infinitesimalFrom New Latin &imacron;nf&imacron;n&imacron;t&emacron;simus, infinite in rank, from Latin &imacron;nf&imacron;n&imacron;tus, infinite; see infinite.
(comparative more infinitesimal, superlative most infinitesimal)
- Strictly, this adjective, like infinite, is incomparable, so more infinitesimal and most infinitesimal are proscribed, especially in the mathematical sense. However, these forms do occur in informal usage, where the very small (but measurable) sense is most common.