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[in-di-fahy-nuh-buh l] /ˌɪn dɪˈfaɪ nə bəl/
not definable; not readily identified, described, analyzed, or determined.
something that cannot be defined:
the indefinables of great musicianship.
Origin of indefinable
First recorded in 1800-10; in-3 + definable
Related forms
indefinableness, noun
indefinably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for indefinable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There were suggestions of triumph, relief, gratitude in the indefinable tone of these words.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • After a while I began to have a feeling of indefinable uneasiness about Alma.

  • There was an indefinable something which told me as much, very soon after I met him.

    Shoulder-Straps Henry Morford
  • She had the indefinable look of one who dwells with a sorrow for which there is no cure.

    An American Suffragette Isaac N. Stevens
  • But Rose affected him differently, although the difference was subtle, indefinable.

    'Smiles' Eliot H. Robinson
  • Across the intervals ran an indefinable spark, a bracing, a tension.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • And the indefinable tone of her voice when she called Delfina.

    The Child of Pleasure Gabriele D'Annunzio
  • Her heart was so full that it lent an indefinable sadness to her words.

    The Child of Pleasure Gabriele D'Annunzio
British Dictionary definitions for indefinable


incapable of being defined or analysed: there was an indefinable sense of terror
Derived Forms
indefinableness, noun
indefinably, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for indefinable

1810, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + definable (see define). Related: Indefinably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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