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indeterminate

[in-di-tur-muh-nit] /ˌɪn dɪˈtɜr mə nɪt/
adjective
1.
not determinate; not precisely fixed in extent; indefinite; uncertain.
2.
not clear; vague.
3.
not established.
4.
not settled or decided.
5.
Mathematics.
  1. (of a quantity) undefined, as 0/0.
  2. (of an equation) able to be satisfied by more than one value for each unknown.
6.
Botany. (of an inflorescence) having the axis or axes not ending in a flower or bud, thus allowing further elongation.
noun
7.
Mathematics. something whose value is not specified: used especially in abstract algebra; a variable.
Origin of indeterminate
1350-1400
First recorded in 1350-1400; Middle English word from Late Latin word indēterminātus. See in-3, determinate
Related forms
indeterminately, adverb
indeterminateness, noun
Synonyms
2. ambiguous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for indeterminate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She herself was in a curious, indeterminate attitude as far as concerned the law.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • After an indeterminate interval, he was awakened by someone entering the room.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • The station, like the scenery, like Helen's letters, struck an indeterminate note.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • He was lithe, of indeterminate age, but with a look of great determination.

    Suite Mentale Gordon Randall Garrett
  • I poised for an indeterminate instant, and then I took my orbit.

    Wandl the Invader Raymond King Cummings
  • They do not suffice to produce them, because they are vague and indeterminate.

    Dreams Henri Bergson
  • Something dark and indeterminate swept by on the swift current.

    In Mesopotamia Martin Swayne
British Dictionary definitions for indeterminate

indeterminate

/ˌɪndɪˈtɜːmɪnɪt/
adjective
1.
uncertain in extent, amount, or nature
2.
not definite; inconclusive: an indeterminate reply
3.
unable to be predicted, calculated, or deduced
4.
(physics) (of an effect) not obeying the law of causality; noncausal
5.
(maths)
  1. having no numerical meaning, as 0.00 or 0/0
  2. (of an equation) having more than one variable and an unlimited number of solutions
6.
(botany) another word for indefinite (sense 4)
7.
(of a structure, framework, etc) comprising forces that cannot be fully analysed, esp by vector analysis
Derived Forms
indeterminacy, indetermination, indeterminateness, noun
indeterminately, 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 indeterminate
adj.

late 14c., from Late Latin indeterminatus "undefined," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + determinatus, past participle of determinare (see determine). Related: Indeterminately.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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indeterminate in Science
indeterminate
  (ĭn'dĭ-tûr'mə-nĭt)   
Continuing to grow at the apical meristem or the terminal bud indefinitely, allowing for the development of an ever-increasing number of plant organs such as leaves, stems, or flowers to the side.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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