When Alexander the Great learned that a mutiny was definitely taking place among his men, he was advised to crush it. History was made when he definitively put an end to the schemes against him, all without shedding the mutineers’ blood.

The words definitely and definitively can often be erringly identified as each other or be swapped as synonyms owing to their similar spelling and use. These words are super common in modern-day English and a brief dive into the meaning, definition use and grammar of these words would help rid all the confusions.

The word ‘definitely’ is an adverb and can refer to either the quality of confidence or the quality of resolution. It is used when an outcome is definite. This means that it is used in the sense that something is absolutely certain or a thing that is absolutely decisive or resolved. The word ‘definitively’ is also an adverb that refers to the quality of finality. Thus, it is used in the sense that something is absolutely final or concluded and is, therefore, permanent. Keep reading to explore the meaning and uses of these words with elaborate examples!

Definitely vs definitively – definitions, uses, and example sentences

Definition of definitely

‘Definitely’ is pronounced ‘deh-fuh-nuht-lee’. It is an adverb which means it gives more meaning and detail to another verb. ‘Definitely’ carries a sense of certainty or determination meaning, that it endows the verb it modifies with these qualities, depending on the context. In the sense of absolute certainty or confidence, it qualifies the verb as probable beyond doubt. Definitely is employed when something is definite. It acts similar to the phrase ‘no question about it’. In the latter sense of determination, it modifies the verb as being decisive or and leads to a final outcome. Synonyms of this adverb include ‘undoubtedly’, ‘unquestionably’, ‘surely’ and ‘certainly’.

Example sentences of definitely

  • The professor explained that with precise calculations and suitable equipment, they could definitely reach results predicted by the theory.

In the first sentence, the adverb ‘definitely’ qualifies the verb ‘reach’ meaning that the subject, the professor, is completely confident that they will be able to obtain a probable outcome if they utilized the correct calculations and the suitable equipment required.

  • In most modern democratic republics, a party needs to gain at least two-thirds of the country’s votes to definitely win an election.

In the second sentence, the adverb ‘definitely’ qualifies the verb ‘win’. Here, ‘definitely’ is used in the sense of being decisive and ultimate meaning a two–thirds majority is required in most democratic countries for a decisive and certain win.

  • The witness told the court that he was sure that he definitely saw the man on trial commit the crime right before his eyes.

In the last sentence, the adverb ‘definitely’ qualifies the past form of the verb ‘see’ implying that the subject, the witness, is confident or without question that he saw the culprit commit the crime in front of him.

Definition of definitively

‘Definitively’ is pronounced ‘duh-fi-nuh-tuh-vlee’. It is, like the adverb ‘definitely’, also an adverb. As said, ‘definitively’ imparts a sense of finality to the verb making it absolutely final and concluding it with permanence. It is used when you mean to do something to put an end to it and finally finish it or resolve it once and for all. For instance, to definitively argue is to permanently put an end to an argument, and to definitively defeat means to subdue for the final time. Synonyms of the adverb ‘definitively’ include ‘conclusively’, ‘decisively’, and ‘ determinatively’.

Example sentences of definitively

  • The lawyer proclaimed that the case had been open for a very long time now and the matter would definitively be closed this time.

In the first sentence, the adverb ‘definitively’ qualifies the verb ‘close’ which acts on the object ‘the matter’ meaning that the matter would be closed once and for all even though it has been a lingering case.

  • In order to definitively solve the issue of domestic terrorism, Pakistan launched anti-terrorist military operations and educational reforms simultaneously.

In this sentence, ‘definitively’ elaborates the verb ‘solve’ meaning to solve permanently and conclusively with no loose ends left. This sentence elaborates how Pakistan conclusively dealt with instances of local terrorism by launching military operations and simultaneously educating the masses.

  • Most mainstream Islamic scholars believe that a verbal divorce repeated thrice definitively ends a marriage.

In the final sentence, the adverb ‘definitively’ qualifies the verb ‘end’ for the object ‘marriage’ meaning that the marital bond would ‘permanently and conclusively’ dissolve or end if an Islamic male verbally recited the words associated with divorce.


In a nutshell, the words ‘definitely’ and ‘definitively’ are adverbs that impart some overlap in their meanings. The adverb ‘definitely’ can mean either in a definite or decisive way or without doubt or question. Whereas the adverb ‘definitively’ imparts a sense of finality and permanence. It is used when the verb is required to act in a conclusive or definitive manner. Remember that the words definitive and conclusive have the ‘-ive’ in common and they can  also be interchangeably used. As for ‘definitely’, remember its various synonyms to use it more wisely. We hope this article has been helpful. Definitely check out more of our articles because we guarantee you will definitively become smarter.