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indefinable

[in-di-fahy-nuh-buh l]
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adjective
  1. not definable; not readily identified, described, analyzed, or determined.
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noun
  1. something that cannot be defined: the indefinables of great musicianship.
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Origin of indefinable

First recorded in 1800–10; in-3 + definable
Related formsin·de·fin·a·ble·ness, nounin·de·fin·a·bly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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


British Dictionary definitions for indefinable

indefinable

adjective
  1. incapable of being defined or analysedthere was an indefinable sense of terror
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Derived Formsindefinableness, nounindefinably, 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

Word Origin and History for indefinable

adj.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper