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indefinite

[in-def-uh-nit]
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adjective
  1. not definite; without fixed or specified limit; unlimited: an indefinite number.
  2. not clearly defined or determined; not precise or exact: an indefinite boundary; an indefinite date in the future.
  3. Grammar.
    1. indefinite article.
    2. indefinite pronoun.
  4. Botany.
    1. very numerous or not easily counted, as stamens.
    2. (of an inflorescence) indeterminate.
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Origin of indefinite

From the Latin word indēfīnītus, dating back to 1520–30. See in-3, definite
Related formsin·def·i·nite·ly, adverbin·def·i·nite·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. unspecified; indeterminate. 2. imprecise, inexact, indistinct, confusing, vague, uncertain.

Antonyms

1, 2. determinate. 2. clear, specific.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for indefinite

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • She was beginning to inspire him with an indefinite uneasiness.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • After an indefinite pause, she asked, "Shall you be going to St. Johnswort?"

    Questionable Shapes

    William Dean Howells

  • I attempted to pacify her by an indefinite reply to her inquiries, but in vain.

    Theresa Marchmont

    Mrs Charles Gore

  • The Grand Plan was ambitious, indefinite, but they could not give it up.

    Four Girls and a Compact

    Annie Hamilton Donnell

  • It put a name to that gnawing, indefinite feeling she had been too intent to own.

    The Innocent Adventuress

    Mary Hastings Bradley


British Dictionary definitions for indefinite

indefinite

adjective
  1. not certain or determined; unsettled
  2. without exact limits; indeterminatean indefinite number
  3. vague, evasive, or unclear
  4. Also: indeterminate botany
    1. too numerous to countindefinite stamens
    2. capable of continued growth at the tip of the stem, which does not terminate in a floweran indefinite inflorescence
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Derived Formsindefiniteness, 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 indefinite

adj.

early 15c. (implied in indefinitely), from Latin indefinitus, from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + definitus, past participle of definire (see define).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper