[verb in-dent; noun in-dent, in-dent]

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)


Origin of indent

1350–1400; Middle English; back formation from indented having toothlike notches, Middle English < Medieval Latin indentātus, equivalent to Latin in- in-2 + dentātus dentate; see -ed2
Related formsin·dent·er, in·den·tor, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for indentor



verb (ɪnˈdɛnt) (mainly tr)

to place (written or printed matter, etc) in from the margin, as at the beginning of a paragraph
to cut or tear (a document, esp a contract or deed in duplicate) so that the irregular lines may be matched to confirm its authenticity
mainly British (in foreign trade) to place an order for (foreign goods), usually through an agent
(when intr, foll by for, on, or upon) mainly British to make an order on (a source or supply) or for (something)
to notch (an edge, border, etc); make jagged
to bind (an apprentice, etc) by indenture

noun (ˈɪnˌdɛnt)

mainly British (in foreign trade) an order for foreign merchandise, esp one placed with an agent
mainly British an official order for goods
(in the late 18th-century US) a certificate issued by federal and state governments for the principal or interest due on the public debt
another word for indenture
another word for indentation (def. 4)
Derived Formsindenter or indentor, noun

Word Origin for indent

C14: from Old French endenter, from en- 1 + dent tooth, from Latin dēns



verb (ɪnˈdɛnt)

(tr) to make a dent or depression in

noun (ˈɪnˌdɛnt)

a dent or depression

Word Origin for indent

C15: from in- ² + dent 1
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 indentor



early 15c., indenten/endenten "to make notches; to give (something) a toothed or jagged appearance," also "to make a legal indenture," from Old French endenter "to notch or dent, give a serrated edge to," from Medieval Latin indentare "to furnish with teeth," from in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + Latin dens (genitive dentis) "tooth" (see tooth). Related: Indented; indenting. The printing sense is first attested 1670s. The noun is first recorded 1590s, from the verb. An earlier noun sense of "a written agreement" (late 15c.) is described in Middle English Dictionary as "scribal abbrev. of endenture."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper