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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for indefinably
Historical Examples
  • But the sense of security has been subtly and indefinably shaken.

    Mr. Crewe's Career, Complete Winston Churchill
  • It was vulgar and not cordial, and yet it was honest and indefinably kind.

    Uncle Silas J. S. LeFanu
  • Then indefinably, yet quite perceptibly his mood changed and his appearance with it.

    Caves of Terror

    Talbot Mundy
  • He was indefinably serious by nature, yet not melancholy, and absolutely acquiescent in his life conditions.

    The Debtor Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • Somehow the thought was distasteful to him, vaguely, indefinably so, but still distasteful.

  • Your whole accumulated experience is indefinably expressing itself in your suspicion; and nine times out of ten it is right.

    Chats on Japanese Prints Arthur Davison Ficke
  • Something in the touch of her soft body, the caress of her satin hands, was indefinably comforting.

    The Ward of King Canute Ottilie A. Liljencrantz
  • A lyric is indefinably more than the sentiment expressed in it, as a rose is more than its substance.

    Creative Unity Rabindranath Tagore
  • The astonished and acute attention of her whole being was indefinably expressed by the silence in which she now listened.

    Aurora the Magnificent Gertrude Hall
  • She was smiling a faint half-smile, sweet but indefinably teasing, and holding out a daintily gloved hand.

    The Wishing Moon

    Louise Elizabeth Dutton
British Dictionary definitions for indefinably


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 indefinably



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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