• synonyms


[in-del-uh-buh l]
  1. making marks that cannot be erased, removed, or the like: indelible ink.
  2. that cannot be eliminated, forgotten, changed, or the like: the indelible memories of war; the indelible influence of a great teacher.
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Origin of indelible

1520–30; < Medieval Latin indēlibilis; replacing indeleble < Latin indēlēbilis indestructible. See in-3, dele, -ble
Related formsin·del·i·bil·i·ty, in·del·i·ble·ness, nounin·del·i·bly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for indelibility

Historical Examples

  • As to the causes and indelibility of the criminal expression there is much divergence of opinion.

    The Criminal

    Havelock Ellis

British Dictionary definitions for indelibility


  1. incapable of being erased or obliterated
  2. making indelible marksindelible ink
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Derived Formsindelibility or indelibleness, nounindelibly, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from Latin indēlēbilis indestructible, from in- 1 + delēre to destroy
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 indelibility



1520s, from Latin indelebilis "indelible, imperishable," from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + delebilis "able to be destroyed," from delere "destroy, blot out" (see delete). Vowel change from -e- to -i- in English is late 17c. Related: Indelibly.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper