[in-del-uh-buh l]


making marks that cannot be erased, removed, or the like: indelible ink.
that cannot be eliminated, forgotten, changed, or the like: the indelible memories of war; the indelible influence of a great teacher.

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

Examples from the Web for indelibly

Contemporary Examples of indelibly

Historical Examples of indelibly

  • The face of Esther Randolph is indelibly painted on his memory.

    Oswald Langdon

    Carson Jay Lee

  • Lessons swift and bitter are indelibly impressed on the minds of the pupils there.


    Effie Afton

  • First he impressed, indelibly, six symbols and their meanings.

    The Galaxy Primes

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • I was very young then; but the scene has been indelibly stamped on my memory.

    The Witch of Salem

    John R. Musick

  • The manifest need of it had been deeply and indelibly impressed.

    The Choctaw Freedmen

    Robert Elliott Flickinger

British Dictionary definitions for indelibly



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

Word Origin for indelible

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 indelibly



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper