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indistinct

[in-di-stingkt]
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adjective
  1. not distinct; not clearly marked or defined: indistinct markings.
  2. not clearly distinguishable or perceptible, as to the eye, ear, or mind: He heard an indistinct muttering.
  3. not distinguishing clearly: After the accident he suffered from indistinct vision and faulty hearing.

Origin of indistinct

From the Latin word indistinctus, dating back to 1520–30. See in-3, distinct
Related formsin·dis·tinct·ly, adverbin·dis·tinct·ness, noun

Synonyms

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2. blurred, clouded, dim.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for indistinct

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • They recite in a timid and indistinct tone the prescribed fustian.

  • But there was only an indistinct humming, and nothing precise came to her.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • In an indistinct way he felt the dishonor that was Alan Porter's being given to him.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • He muttered an indistinct "Very well, mamma," as he shut the door.

    Great Uncle Hoot-Toot

    Mrs. Molesworth

  • It left in the paper an indistinct impression resembling a fabric.


British Dictionary definitions for indistinct

indistinct

adjective
  1. incapable of being clearly distinguished, as by the eyes, ears, or mind; not distinct
Derived Formsindistinctly, adverbindistinctness, 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 indistinct

adj.

c.1400 (implied in indistinctly "equally, alike"), from Latin indistinctus "not distinct, confused," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + distinctus (see distinct). Related: Indistinctly; indistinctness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper