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[in-di-stingkt] /ˌɪn dɪˈstɪŋkt/
not distinct; not clearly marked or defined:
indistinct markings.
not clearly distinguishable or perceptible, as to the eye, ear, or mind:
He heard an indistinct muttering.
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 forms
indistinctly, adverb
indistinctness, noun
2. blurred, clouded, dim. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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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.

    Why Bewick Succeeded

    Jacob Kainen
  • Vague, indistinct to ourselves, unbounded by hope or remembrance.

    Poems William D. Howells
  • There were black figures moving near it; they were indistinct.

    Two Thousand Miles Below Charles Willard Diffin
British Dictionary definitions for indistinct


incapable of being clearly distinguished, as by the eyes, ears, or mind; not distinct
Derived Forms
indistinctly, adverb
indistinctness, 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 indistinct

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
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