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[in-def-uh-nit] /ɪnˈdɛf ə nɪt/
not definite; without fixed or specified limit; unlimited:
an indefinite number.
not clearly defined or determined; not precise or exact:
an indefinite boundary; an indefinite date in the future.
  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 forms
indefinitely, adverb
indefiniteness, noun
1. unspecified; indeterminate. 2. imprecise, inexact, indistinct, confusing, vague, uncertain.
1, 2. determinate. 2. clear, specific. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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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


not certain or determined; unsettled
without exact limits; indeterminate: an indefinite number
vague, evasive, or unclear
(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



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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