What does it mean?
The meaning of ad infinitum is ‘to infinity’ or ‘forevermore.’ Ad infinitum and beyond! (Couldn’t resist that one…)
‘Infinitum’ in Latin literally means ‘to infinity.’ The translation from Latin is as is. An early written use of the term is in Jonathan Swift’s ‘On Poetry: A Rhapsody’ in the 17th century.
As ad infinitum is less commonly used in everyday speech, coming across improper use is rare. However, people may use it to express a long period of time. Pedantic though it may sound, this is incorrect; ad infinitum should only be used when referring to a literal forever. However, it sounds great when used sarcastically…
In its context, ad infinitum means ‘for eternity.’ It can also be abbreviated to ‘ad inf.’ Some examples:
‘The human race should continue ad infinitum.’
‘Space goes on ad infinitum.’