- a verb form found in many languages that functions as a noun or is used with auxiliary verbs, and that names the action or state without specifying the subject, as French venir “to come,” Latin esse “to be,” fuisse “to have been.”
- (in English) the simple or basic form of the verb, as come, take, eat, be, used after auxiliary verbs, as in I didn’t come, He must be, or this simple form preceded by a function word, as to in I want to eat.
- consisting of or containing an infinitive: an infinitive construction. Abbreviation: infin.
- a form of the verb not inflected for grammatical categories such as tense and person and used without an overt subject. In English, the infinitive usually consists of the word to followed by the verb
“simple, uninflected form of a verb,” 1510s (mid-15c. as an adjective), from Late Latin infinitivus “unlimited, indefinite,” from Latin infinitus (see infinite). “Indefinite” because not having definite person or number.
The simple or dictionary form of a verb: walk, think, fly, exist. Often the word to marks a verb as an infinitive: “to walk,” “to think,” “to fly,” “to exist.”