I'm trying to find another term which means "finiteness". To me, it sounds too clumsy. Part of my mind gesticulates wildly toward a "-cy" suffix word to describe this, like "captaincy" or "valency"... but of course, "finicy" sounds a tad ridiculous and there is obviously no such word.

Even if I did use "finiteness", I feel it would suggest too strongly the finite aspect, where as "infiniteness" would just be silly. Obviously, the word should be neutral, but describe the polarisation between finite and infinite. Just as "colour" is a totally neutral word not suggesting any particular colour.


  • I think it wouldn't be too localized if you didn't mention the programming task. – Daniel Aug 30 '11 at 20:04
  • I had to decode that down to "I think it's too localised because you mentioned the programming task". Ah, the fun to be had on english.stackexchange... – Engineer Aug 30 '11 at 20:07
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    I didn't vote to close, since I think it's a valid question. All the same, we tend to shy away from questions which ask for a good word for a variable name, because they are often very localized to the specific programming situation. – Daniel Aug 30 '11 at 20:14
  • It sounds like you're looking for a word that describes the characteristic of having an (in)finite measurement... But then it sort of depends on what you're measuring: Do you need to describe a cardinality? Or it's magnitude? Or it's boundedness? It's quantifiability? Are we talking about size? length? continuity? – user12573 Aug 30 '11 at 20:26
  • @Nick: See the newest development in my answer. – Daniel Aug 30 '11 at 20:40

Finitude is a word, though not as common. Actually, scratch that; check out the Ngram graph:


So it's actually more common than finiteness, boundedness, and limitedness put together.

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    According to the definition I just found, although I prefer "finitude" to "finiteness", the latter is more commonly used in maths and logic. I have decided I like this word enough to use it in my code, if only in it's similarity to magnitude, which is nicely neutral. – Engineer Aug 30 '11 at 20:18
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    See the edit. I'm surprised. – Daniel Aug 30 '11 at 20:21
  • Hmm, I'm not, given the clumsiness of the former. However you appear much more well-read than I. – Engineer Aug 30 '11 at 20:24
  • Finiteness and finitude aren't really words that pop up that often, though, so I couldn't tell you off the top of my head which was more popular. I just guessed at finiteness because it seems like obscurer words gravitate toward that ending, for some reason. I have seen both finitude and finiteness used before, though. – Daniel Aug 30 '11 at 20:27
  • Finitude is the first term that came to mind when I read this. – delliottg Aug 25 '15 at 20:48

Can you use just plain limit, bounds or boundary? Limit in particular seems to be a neutral category for numbers, indicating neither infinite nor finite.

limit n: the ultimate extent, degree, or amount of something

It may also be used in the plural, limits.


I could list another word:

Limitedness: The state of being limited to a certain boundary

  • Though this is just as clumsy as finiteness, so it may not appeal to the OP. – Daniel Aug 30 '11 at 20:15
  • Seems there are no unbiased options... – Engineer Aug 30 '11 at 20:22

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