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Indefinitely vs. Infinitely — What's the Difference?

By Fiza Rafique & Urooj Arif — Updated on May 7, 2024
"Indefinitely" suggests an unspecified period without a definite end, while "infinitely" implies a limitless or unbounded extent.
Indefinitely vs. Infinitely — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Indefinitely and Infinitely


Key Differences

"Indefinitely" is used to describe something that continues for an unknown or unstated length of time, without any predetermined endpoint. On the other hand, "infinitely" refers to something that has no limits or bounds in size, amount, or extent.
When you say something will occur indefinitely, it implies a temporal stretch that could potentially end if conditions change. Conversely, when something is described as infinite, it suggests that it is inherently endless and cannot be measured or terminated.
"Indefinitely" often pertains to situations or events that, while uncertain, are contained within the realm of possibility or reality. Whereas "infinitely" often appears in discussions about concepts in mathematics, physics, or metaphysics, highlighting vastness or the conceptually unachievable.
The usage of "indefinitely" is common in legal, bureaucratic, and everyday contexts, suggesting an extension until further notice. In contrast, "infinitely" is frequently used in scientific, philosophical, or hyperbolic speech to express ideas of endlessness or immeasurable scale.
"Indefinitely" can carry a practical implication, applied to real-world scenarios that are temporary but undefined, while "infinitely" carries a more theoretical implication, used to discuss abstract or hypothetical scenarios without physical or temporal boundaries.

Comparison Chart


Without a definite end, but not necessarily forever
Without any limits, extending forever


Often legal, bureaucratic, practical
Mathematical, scientific, abstract


Temporal and possibly ending
Endless in time or space

Usage in Speech

"The meeting was postponed indefinitely."
"The universe is infinitely large."

Conceptual Scope

Limited to scenarios where time or conditions are unspecified
Encompasses ideas of limitless or incalculable magnitude

Compare with Definitions


Indefinite in duration.
The contract allows for indefinite renewal.


In a manner suggesting infinite extent.
His new novel is infinitely complex.


To continue for an unknown or unstated length of time.
The project has been delayed indefinitely due to funding issues.


Without bounds or limits.
Space is thought to be infinitely vast.


Without a foreseeable end.
He moved abroad and will be living there indefinitely.


To an exceedingly great extent or degree.
This software is infinitely more efficient than its predecessor.


For an unlimited or unspecified period.
Access to the library is suspended indefinitely.


Endlessly or immeasurably.
The possibilities are infinitely better with this technology.


Without a precise limit.
You can extend your subscription indefinitely.


Without end or limitation.
Mathematicians discuss numbers that grow infinitely.


For an unlimited or unspecified period of time
Talks cannot go on indefinitely


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


Unclear; vague.


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


Lacking precise limits
An indefinite leave of absence.


Existing beyond or being greater than any arbitrarily large value.


Uncertain; undecided
Indefinite about their plans.


Unlimited in spatial extent
A line of infinite length.


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


Of or relating to a set capable of being put into one-to-one correspondence with a proper subset of itself.


For a long time, with no defined end.


Something infinite.




In an infinite manner; as of anything growing without bounds; endlessly.


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 a surpassingly large extent.
He is infinitely more capable than John.


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


Without bounds or limits; beyond or below assignable limits; as, an infinitely large or infinitely small quantity.


Very; exceedingly; vastly; highly; extremely.


Without bounds;
He is infinitely wealthy


Continuing forever without end;
There are infinitely many possibilities

Common Curiosities

What does it mean when a decision is postponed indefinitely?

It means the decision has been delayed without a specified time for when it might be revisited or resolved.

When should I use indefinitely instead of temporarily?

Use indefinitely when there is no set end date, whereas temporarily suggests a known or planned duration.

How does indefinitely affect contractual agreements?

In contracts, indefinitely may imply that certain conditions or obligations continue until explicitly terminated or altered by involved parties.

Can time be infinitely divisible?

Theoretically, in physics and mathematics, time can be considered infinitely divisible, although practical measurements have limits.

Can a person be infinitely patient?

While not literally, describing someone as infinitely patient is a way to emphasize their extreme level of patience.

How do companies use the term indefinitely in their policies?

Companies might use indefinitely in policies to describe actions or rules that remain in effect until further notice or change.

Is indefinitely a legal term?

Yes, it's used in legal contexts to indicate that an action, condition, or statute is to continue for an unspecified period.

Does indefinitely always imply forever?

No, indefinitely implies an unspecified period which may potentially end but isn't currently defined.

Can a product warranty last indefinitely?

Typically, no. Most product warranties have specific durations, though some services might offer indefinite extensions under special conditions.

What does infinitely mean in everyday language?

In everyday language, infinitely often hyperbolically expresses a very high degree or an extensive amount, such as "infinitely better."

What are examples of things that are infinite?

Examples include numbers in mathematics, such as the set of natural numbers, or concepts in physics, like the universe's size.

What does infinitely small mean?

Infinitely small refers to quantities so minute that they approach zero but never quite reach it, often used in calculus.

Is it correct to say that space is infinitely expanding?

Yes, according to current cosmological theories, the universe is expanding and may continue to do so infinitely.

How do philosophers use the concept of infinitely?

Philosophers might use the concept of infinitely to discuss eternal truths, moral values, or theoretical constructs that are boundless.

What is the difference between indefinitely suspended and permanently banned?

Indefinitely suspended implies a temporary but undefined halt that could potentially be lifted, whereas permanently banned means the action or prohibition is final and without reversal.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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