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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 indistinctness
Historical Examples
  • He articulated with some difficulty, slurring his words to the point of indistinctness at times.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • Yet greater is the indistinctness when they are all jostled together in a little soul, which has no room.

    Theaetetus Plato
  • Each of them peered through the indistinctness of the dusk at the other two.

  • The unmerited are to be attributed to the indistinctness of my rapid penmanship.

    The Popham Colony William Frederick Poole
  • indistinctness may arise from the employment of equivocal terms in the definition.

    Aristotle George Grote
  • Our perceptions have the brightness and indistinctness of a trance.

    Hours in a Library Leslie Stephen
  • There was a sense of indistinctness through the mist which was an ally to Chadron.

  • The indistinctness is the one interesting feature of the sketch.

    Transcendentalism in New England Octavius Brooks Frothingham
  • Behind the vicarage the purple-rimmed hills just fading into indistinctness.

    Heriot's Choice Rosa Nouchette Carey
  • This indistinctness of oblique vision, which might seem a defect, I consider an excellence.

    Beauty Alexander Walker
British Dictionary definitions for indistinctness


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 indistinctness



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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