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indefinable

[in-di-fahy-nuh-buh l] /ˌɪn dɪˈfaɪ nə bəl/
adjective
1.
not definable; not readily identified, described, analyzed, or determined.
noun
2.
something that cannot be defined:
the indefinables of great musicianship.
Origin of indefinable
1800-1810
First recorded in 1800-10; in-3 + definable
Related forms
indefinableness, noun
indefinably, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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

indefinable

/ˌɪndɪˈfaɪnəbəl/
adjective
1.
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
adj.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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17
21
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