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indefinite

[in-def-uh-nit]
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adjective
  1. not definite; without fixed or specified limit; unlimited: an indefinite number.
  2. not clearly defined or determined; not precise or exact: an indefinite boundary; an indefinite date in the future.
  3. Grammar.
    1. indefinite article.
    2. indefinite pronoun.
  4. Botany.
    1. very numerous or not easily counted, as stamens.
    2. (of an inflorescence) indeterminate.

Origin of indefinite

From the Latin word indēfīnītus, dating back to 1520–30. See in-3, definite
Related formsin·def·i·nite·ly, adverbin·def·i·nite·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. unspecified; indeterminate. 2. imprecise, inexact, indistinct, confusing, vague, uncertain.

Antonyms

1, 2. determinate. 2. clear, specific.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for indefinitely

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He should survive, even if the event were indefinitely postponed.

  • Then I wished that dinner might go on indefinitely like the tea party of the Mad Hatter.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • The gentleman did not know his name, and could but indefinitely describe his person.

    Self-Help

    Samuel Smiles

  • Society is based on the family, and the clever wastrel can exploit this indefinitely.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • He asked if we intended remaining at Bancroft's indefinitely.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln


British Dictionary definitions for indefinitely

indefinitely

adverb
  1. without any limit of time or number

indefinite

adjective
  1. not certain or determined; unsettled
  2. without exact limits; indeterminatean indefinite number
  3. vague, evasive, or unclear
  4. Also: indeterminate botany
    1. too numerous to countindefinite stamens
    2. capable of continued growth at the tip of the stem, which does not terminate in a floweran indefinite inflorescence
Derived Formsindefiniteness, noun
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 indefinitely

adv.

early 15c.; see indefinite + -ly (2).

indefinite

adj.

early 15c. (implied in indefinitely), from Latin indefinitus, from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + definitus, past participle of definire (see define).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper