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  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 for indefinite

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Antonyms for indefinite

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

Related Words for indefinitely

forever, considerably, frequently, regularly

Examples from the Web for indefinitely

Contemporary Examples of indefinitely

Historical Examples of indefinitely

  • He should survive, even if the event were indefinitely postponed.

  • Then I wished that dinner might go on indefinitely like the tea party of the Mad Hatter.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • The gentleman did not know his name, and could but indefinitely describe his person.


    Samuel Smiles

  • Society is based on the family, and the clever wastrel can exploit this indefinitely.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • He asked if we intended remaining at Bancroft's indefinitely.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for indefinitely


  1. without any limit of time or number
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  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 indefinitely


early 15c.; see indefinite + -ly (2).

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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