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indefinite

[in-def-uh-nit] /ɪnˈdɛf ə nɪt/
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.
4.
Botany.
  1. very numerous or not easily counted, as stamens.
  2. (of an inflorescence) indeterminate.
Origin of indefinite
1520-1530
From the Latin word indēfīnītus, dating back to 1520-30. See in-3, definite
Related forms
indefinitely, adverb
indefiniteness, noun
Synonyms
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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for indefiniteness
Historical Examples
  • In this matter there must be no indefiniteness, no chance for misunderstanding.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • The Jesuit notion does not err on the score of indefiniteness.

  • And, as another of the elements of this creation of beauty, there must be indefiniteness. '

  • For, with all her wealth and power, Joyce often felt this "indefiniteness," as she called it.

    Joyce's Investments Fannie E. Newberry
  • He could not be moulded to a clever womans liking, for all his indefiniteness.

    The Dull Miss Archinard Anne Douglas Sedgwick
  • In the hands of Dryden the Elves of Chaucer lose their indefiniteness.

    The Fairy Mythology Thomas Keightley
  • Its indefiniteness shown by the serpent symbol, and the cross.

    The Religious Sentiment Daniel G. Brinton
  • A constant source of misunderstanding and mistake is indefiniteness of meaning.

    How We Think John Dewey
  • There was no indefiniteness about that "he;" there was only one "he" for Garda.

    East Angels Constance Fenimore Woolson
  • As concerns the indefiniteness of the dream, it is after all a characteristic like any other.

British Dictionary definitions for indefiniteness

indefinite

/ɪnˈdɛfɪnɪt/
adjective
1.
not certain or determined; unsettled
2.
without exact limits; indeterminate: an indefinite number
3.
vague, evasive, or unclear
4.
(botany) Also indeterminate
  1. too numerous to count: indefinite stamens
  2. capable of continued growth at the tip of the stem, which does not terminate in a flower: an indefinite inflorescence
Derived Forms
indefiniteness, 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
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Word Origin and History for indefiniteness

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
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21
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