not definite; without fixed or specified limit; unlimited: an indefinite number.
not clearly defined or determined; not precise or exact: an indefinite boundary; an indefinite date in the future.
  1. very numerous or not easily counted, as stamens.
  2. (of an inflorescence) indeterminate.

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

Antonyms for indefinite Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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



without any limit of time or number



not certain or determined; unsettled
without exact limits; indeterminatean indefinite number
vague, evasive, or unclear
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
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).



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper