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I was looking for a prefix I could prepend to a word to mean an infinite amount of the thing the word describes. I eventually found someone with the same question, and since there were no answers, I offered a "close enough" one. But I got curious and tried to research some more. I didn't find a good list of amount-related prefixes (Wikipedia has an article on number prefixes, though), so I built one. But I found no prefix for infinity. Is there one?

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Realistically, apart from some highly abstract concepts like "integers" how many nouns are there that you could validly apply this prefix to? The theoretical physicists are already telling us there might not be an infinite amount of time, distance, or mass in the universe. How much else is left? –  FumbleFingers Mar 20 '12 at 23:02
    
@FumbleFingers, in this case I was describing 3D displays, and wanted to make the distinction that some allow only two views (stereoscopic, or, to be more exact, "duoscopic"), others allow multiple (but finite) views, and a third category implements infinite views (at least, for all practical purposes). –  waldyrious Mar 20 '12 at 23:12
    
haha I'll buy that. Even if the universe really does turn out to be finite, it can still contain an infinite number of viewpoints (yours and mine are just the beginning of an infinite series! :) –  FumbleFingers Mar 20 '12 at 23:22
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Well, I guess technically one could argue that, space being quantized, there could only be n viewpoints (n being an unimaginably large number, of course), times the m other points you could be looking at from each of those (m being is smaller than n-1 because many of those would result in looking at identical directions), which would result in an astronomically large product, but still a finite one :P (though growing, assuming that the universe is expanding). –  waldyrious Mar 20 '12 at 23:39
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Yup - space being quantized is the killer there. Even if there turn out to be 10^500 different "universes", you can't have infinite views. You could have a lot - certainly enough for all practical purposes - but if ELU gives you a prefix for "infinite", and I find you marketing some gizmo incorporating it in the product name, I shall sick the Trade Descriptions people on you! –  FumbleFingers Mar 21 '12 at 1:38

5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

infinito- perhaps? The OED defines it as:

combining form from Latin infīnīt-us infinite adj., adv., and n., used in the sense ‘infinitely, to an infinite degree’: as in infinito-infinitesimal

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Woah, infinito-infinitesimal is a word?! Awesome. Anyway, if the suffix is included in the OED, I see no reason not to accept this answer. Thanks :) –  waldyrious Mar 20 '12 at 23:24
    
Hmm. I've just checked Google Books. Apart from lots of Italian dictionaries/wordlists, and requotations [of the original?] from David Hartley's 1749 Observations on Man, I found only one other recorded instance - and that was from 1880. Besides we already established that an "infinitesimal" amount isn't even there - you can't have less than nothing! –  FumbleFingers Mar 21 '12 at 1:53
    
Wait, what? Should I unaccept the answer (for now at least)? I'm confused. –  waldyrious Mar 21 '12 at 11:14
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@Waldir: You must make up your own mind about whether you consider infinito-infinitesimal to be a "word". I've provided you with evidence that apart from its apparently first coinage, and one other instance in print 130 years ago, it only really exists as an entry in EOD. I myself do not take it seriously, nor is it clear to me Hartley was using it seriously in 1749 - he seems more to be using it facetiously, as a parallel to his demonstration of the absurdity of a specific line of thought which he's addressing at the time. –  FumbleFingers Mar 22 '12 at 2:12
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@FumbleFingers, this post is not concerned with the word infinito-infinitesmal - only its prefix. It's a very rare usage, which might discourage you from using it in parlance, but that's your call. But in relation to the question: it's a word which exactly corresponds to what Waldir asked. –  hohner Mar 22 '12 at 11:01

omni- means "all" or "universally" which isn't exactly infinite, but may be a suitable substitute for some uses.

Classical the Judeo-Christian God is described as omni-potent (all-powerful).

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You might notice that "omni-" was precisely the "close enough" answer I gave to the other guy who asked the same elsewhere, as I mentioned in the details above. I guess I included too many links in there :) –  waldyrious Mar 20 '12 at 23:16

In mathematics, specifically geometry, we use apeiro-.

The analog of a pentagon, hexagon, etc. having infinitely many sides is an apeirogon.

Similarly, a polyhedron with infinitely many sides is an apeirohedron.

It is from the ancient Greek ἄπειρος, apeiros, meaning "infinite" or "boundless" according to Wiktionary. I surmise this is formed as a-, "not," and peiros, "bounded," from the same root as perimeter, periphery, etc. See also Apeiron for a little etymology.

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Unlimited seems to be a good adjective in the context of the OP's explanation of where this is to be used, i.e. unlimited views or unlimited viewpoints.

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Much clearer than a non-standard or twisted prefix. Depending on the context "limitless" might also be appropriate. But "unlimited number of..." is very clear. –  Wayne Jan 12 at 18:58

In addition to the other good answers that "unlimited number of..." is clearer than any alternative, I'd add that a prefix has a strong chance of implying simultaneously. For example, a 3-view display implies that you are seeing three views at once.

You want to describe possibilities, but only one at a time, as far as I can tell.

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