Definitions
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
 adjective Having bounds; limited.
 adjective Existing, persisting, or enduring for a limited time only; impermanent.
 adjective Being neither infinite nor infinitesimal.
 adjective Having a positive or negative numerical value; not zero.
 adjective Possible to reach or exceed by counting. Used of a number.
 adjective Having a limited number of elements. Used of a set.
 adjective Grammar Of or relating to any of the forms of a verb that can occur on their own in a main clause and that can formally express distinctions in person, number, tense, mood, and voice, often by means of conjugation, as the verb sees in She sees the sign.
 noun A finite thing.
from The Century Dictionary.
 Not too great nor too small to be naturally susceptible of measurement, whether measurable by us or not; not infinite nor infinitesimal.
 The following are the special significations of the word: As applied to a class or integer number, capable of being completely counted: this is the fundamental meaning. This distinction between a finite and an infinite class is very important, because there is a peculiar mode of reasoning, called by logicians reasoning by transposed quantity, which is applicable to finite classes alone. The following syllogism is an example: “Every Hottentot kills a Hottentot; but no Hottentot is killed by more than one Hottentot; hence, every Hottentot is killed by a Hottentot.” If by the Hottentots is here meant a class of which a complete census might be taken, this conclusion must be true, provided the premises are true. But if the generations of Hottentots are everlasting, each Hottentot might kill one of his children, and yet some Hottentots might die natural deaths. Reasoning by transposed quantity is indispensable in the higher arithmetic and algebra; and consequently in these branches of mathematics the distinction between finite and infinite classes is very important.
 As applied to continuous quantity, smaller than a suitably chosen finite number multiplied into the unit of measurement, and larger than a suitably chosen finite number divided by the unit of measurement.
 In grammar, limited by person; personal; strictly verbal; not infinitival nor participial.
 Subject to limitations or conditions, such as those of space, time, circumstances, and the laws of nature: as, a finite being; finite existence or duration.
 Of or pertaining or relating to finite beings: as, finite passions or interests.
 In mathematics, an integral is said to be expressed in finite terms when it is expressed without resort to an infinite series, although it may be expressed by means of exponential, elliptic, or Abelian functions which are synonymous with infinite series; but frequently expressions involving higher kinds of functions than the exponential and trigonometric are excluded.
 noun That which is finite; finite things collectively: used only with the definite article.
 To limit; fix the limits of.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
 adjective Having a limit; limited in quantity, degree, or capacity; bounded;  opposed to
infinite
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike License.
 adjective
Limited , constrained bybounds ,impermanent
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
 adjective of verbs; relating to forms of the verb that are limited in time by a tense and (usually) show agreement with number and person
 adjective bounded or limited in magnitude or spatial or temporal extent
Etymologies
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
Examples

The mental creations held by You and I, and other finite minds, are but _finite creations of finite minds_, while WE, ourselves, are the finite creations of an

Christopher Hill saying that the list of issues is now down to what he termed a finite set.

But it's still intriguing that Fitzgerald, for all his gifts, didn't perceive the word "finite" in definite, the way good spellers automatically do.

But it's still intriguing that Fitzgerald, for all his gifts, didn't perceive the word "finite" in definite, the way good spellers automatically do.

Please specify a mathematical model that suggests it is even conceptually possible to frontload a natural system to get exactly one of a desired outcome (or even probably one) in finite time.

(And speaking of crankery, the "population bombers" who have turned a blind eye to 2,000 years of evidence on this to instead sell absurd scare tales of "exponential growth of population until there are more people than atoms in finite world" sure have shown themselves as cranks in that regard.)
Limits to Growth?, Arnold Kling  EconLog  Library of Economics and Liberty

By the way, it's wrong to think a single individual can overtake a population of size infinity in finite time.

Assuming that it's finite is at least as big an error as assuming that it's infinite.
Learning from Lomborg, Bryan Caplan  EconLog  Library of Economics and Liberty

Todd B: Please specify a mathematical model that suggests it is even conceptually possible to frontload a natural system to get exactly one of a desired outcome (or even probably one) in finite time.

Please specify a mathematical model that suggests it is even conceptually possible to frontload a natural system to get exactly one of a desired outcome (or even probably one) in finite time.
Comments
New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.
dailyword commented on the word finite
Captain Picard used this word when he was talking to an alien being about how humans lived.
July 24, 2012