[in-di-fahy-nuh-buh l]


not definable; not readily identified, described, analyzed, or determined.


something that cannot be defined: the indefinables of great musicianship.

Origin of indefinable

First recorded in 1800–10; in-3 + definable
Related formsin·de·fin·a·ble·ness, nounin·de·fin·a·bly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for indefinably

Historical Examples of indefinably

  • But the sense of security has been subtly and indefinably shaken.

  • It was vulgar and not cordial, and yet it was honest and indefinably kind.

    Uncle Silas

    J. S. LeFanu

  • Then indefinably, yet quite perceptibly his mood changed and his appearance with it.

    Caves of Terror

    Talbot Mundy

  • He was indefinably serious by nature, yet not melancholy, and absolutely acquiescent in his life conditions.

    The Debtor

    Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

  • Somehow the thought was distasteful to him, vaguely, indefinably so, but still distasteful.

British Dictionary definitions for indefinably



incapable of being defined or analysedthere was an indefinable sense of terror
Derived Formsindefinableness, nounindefinably, 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

Word Origin and History for indefinably



1810, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + definable (see define). Related: Indefinably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper