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[in-del-uh-buh l] /ɪnˈdɛl ə bəl/
making marks that cannot be erased, removed, or the like:
indelible ink.
that cannot be eliminated, forgotten, changed, or the like:
the indelible memories of war; the indelible influence of a great teacher.
Origin of indelible
1520-30; < Medieval Latin indēlibilis; replacing indeleble < Latin indēlēbilis indestructible. See in-3, dele, -ble
Related forms
indelibility, indelibleness, noun
indelibly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for indelibly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The face of Esther Randolph is indelibly painted on his memory.

    Oswald Langdon Carson Jay Lee
  • Lessons swift and bitter are indelibly impressed on the minds of the pupils there.

    Eventide Effie Afton
  • First he impressed, indelibly, six symbols and their meanings.

    The Galaxy Primes Edward Elmer Smith
  • I was very young then; but the scene has been indelibly stamped on my memory.

    The Witch of Salem John R. Musick
  • The manifest need of it had been deeply and indelibly impressed.

    The Choctaw Freedmen Robert Elliott Flickinger
British Dictionary definitions for indelibly


incapable of being erased or obliterated
making indelible marks: indelible ink
Derived Forms
indelibility, indelibleness, noun
indelibly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin indēlēbilis indestructible, from in-1+ delēre to destroy
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 indelibly



1520s, from Latin indelebilis "indelible, imperishable," from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + delebilis "able to be destroyed," from delere "destroy, blot out" (see delete). Vowel change from -e- to -i- in English is late 17c. Related: Indelibly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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