Infinitive In*fin"i*tive, n. [L. infinitivus: cf. F. infinitif. See {Infinite}.] Unlimited; not bounded or restricted; undefined. [1913 Webster]

{Infinitive mood} (Gram.), that form of the verb which merely names the action, and performs the office of a verbal noun. Some grammarians make two forms in English: ({a}) The simple form, as, speak, go, hear, before which to is commonly placed, as, to speak; to go; to hear. ({b}) The form of the imperfect participle, called the infinitive in -ing; as, going is as easy as standing. [1913 Webster]

Note: With the auxiliary verbs may, can, must, might, could, would, and should, the simple infinitive is expressed without to; as, you may speak; they must hear, etc. The infinitive usually omits to with the verbs let, dare, do, bid, make, see, hear, need, etc.; as, let me go; you dare not tell; make him work; hear him talk, etc. [1913 Webster]

Note: In Anglo-Saxon, the simple infinitive was not preceded by to (the sign of modern simple infinitive), but it had a dative form (sometimes called the gerundial infinitive) which was preceded by to, and was chiefly employed in expressing purpose. See {Gerund}, 2. [1913 Webster]

Note: The gerundial ending (-anne) not only took the same form as the simple infinitive (-an), but it was confounded with the present participle in -ende, or -inde (later -inge). [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • infinitive — The infinitive of a verb is its simplest uninflected form, and the form that appears as the headword in dictionaries. When used in sentences, there are two basic kinds of infinitive: (1) the bare infinitive, identical to the form just mentioned,… …   Modern English usage

  • Infinitive — In*fin i*tive, n. (Gram.) An infinitive form of the verb; a verb in the infinitive mood; the infinitive mood. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • infinitive — [in fin′i tiv] adj. [LL infinitivus < L infinitivus (modus), lit., unlimited (mood) < infinitus (see INFINITE): so named because it is not limited to any person, number, or tense] Gram. of or connected with an infinitive [an infinitive… …   English World dictionary

  • Infinitive — In*fin i*tive, adv. (Gram.) In the manner of an infinitive mood. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • infinitive — (n.) simple, uninflected form of a verb, 1510s (mid 15c. as an adjective), from L.L. infinitivus unlimited, indefinite, from L. infinitus (see INFINITE (Cf. infinite)). Indefinite because not having definite person or number …   Etymology dictionary

  • infinitive — ► NOUN ▪ the basic form of a verb, without an inflection binding it to a particular subject or tense (normally occurring in English with the word to, as in to see, to ask). ORIGIN from Latin infinitus, from in not + finitus finished, finite …   English terms dictionary

  • Infinitive — In grammar, infinitive is the name for certain verb forms that exist in many languages. In the usual (traditional) description of English, the infinitive of a verb is its basic form with or without the particle to: therefore, do and to do, be and …   Wikipedia

  • infinitive — ● infinitif, infinitive adjectif (bas latin infinitivus modus) Proposition infinitive ou infinitive (nom féminin), proposition subordonnée complétive dont le verbe est à l infinitif (par exemple j entends chanter les oiseaux). ● infinitif,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • infinitive — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ bare ▪ Modal verbs generally take the bare infinitive. ▪ perfect ▪ You use ‘have’ to form the perfect infinitive of a verb. ▪ passive …   Collocations dictionary

  • infinitive */ — UK [ɪnˈfɪnətɪv] / US [ɪnˈfɪnɪtɪv] noun [countable] Word forms infinitive : singular infinitive plural infinitives linguistics the basic form of a verb. In English, this form of the verb together with the word to in front of it is usually called a …   English dictionary

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