A definitive answer is a final one. A definitive decision by a court of law is one that will not be changed. A definitive translation is one everyone turns to as correct. Definitive means authoritative, conclusive, final.

Be careful not to confuse definitive with definite. Definite means clearly defined. You can have a definite opinion that JFK could not have been assassinated by a lone gunman, but the definitive interpretation remains that of the Warren Commission Report, which held there was only one.

Definitions of definitive
  1. adjective
    clearly defined or formulated
    synonyms: unequivocal
    explicit, expressed
    precisely and clearly expressed or readily observable; leaving nothing to implication
  2. adjective
    of recognized authority or excellence
    “the definitive work on Greece”
    synonyms: authoritative, classic, classical
    established or well-known or widely recognized as a model of authority or excellence
  3. adjective
    supplying or being a final or conclusive settlement
    “a definitive verdict”
    synonyms: determinate
    forming an end or termination; especially putting an end to doubt or question
Commonly confused words

definitely / definitively

Use definitely and definitively when there's no doubt, but save definitely for emphasis and definitively for the final say. If you definitely want to go to a party, but your mom definitively says no, then you aren't going. Quit asking.

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