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  1. not conclusive; not resolving fully all doubts or questions: inconclusive evidence.
  2. without final results or outcome: inconclusive experiments.
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Origin of inconclusive

First recorded in 1680–90; in-3 + conclusive
Related formsin·con·clu·sive·ly, adverbin·con·clu·sive·ness, noun

Synonyms for inconclusive

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for inconclusive

ambiguous, uncertain, unsatisfactory, deficient, unsettled, uneventful, vague, incomplete, unconvincing, indecisive, indeterminate, lacking, open, undecided, unfinished

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British Dictionary definitions for inconclusive


  1. not conclusive or decisive; not finally settled; indeterminate
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Derived Formsinconclusively, adverbinconclusiveness, 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 inconclusive


1680s (implied in inconclusiveness), from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + conclusive. Related: Inconclusively.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper