from The Century Dictionary.
- In mathematics, distinguished by a finite ordinal.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
I could see him creating the word finitesimal, which would use "finite" suggesting the differences have a definite end.
I was lately afflicted with a sort of nondescript atrophy, a stagnation of the fluids, a congestion of the small blood-vessels, and a spasmodic contraction of the finitesimal nerves, that threatened very serious consequences.