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verb (used with object), in·di·cat·ed, in·di·cat·ing.
  1. to be a sign of; betoken; evidence; show: His hesitation really indicates his doubt about the venture.
  2. to point out or point to; direct attention to: to indicate a place on a map.
  3. to show, as by measuring or recording; make known: The thermometer indicates air temperature.
  4. to state or express, especially briefly or in a general way; signal: He indicated his disapproval but did not go into detail.
  5. Medicine/Medical.
    1. (of symptoms) to point out (a particular remedy, treatment, etc.) as suitable or necessary.
    2. to show the presence of (a condition, infection, etc.).
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Origin of indicate

1645–55; < Latin indicātus past participle of indicāre to point, make known equivalent to indic- (stem of index) index + -ātus -ate1
Related formsin·di·cat·a·ble, adjectivein·dic·a·to·ry [in-dik-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪnˈdɪk əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectivein·ter·in·di·cate, verb (used with object), in·ter·in·di·cat·ed, in·ter·in·di·cat·ing.re·in·di·cate, verb (used with object), re·in·di·cat·ed, re·in·di·cat·ing.un·in·di·cat·ed, adjectivewell-in·di·cat·ed, adjective


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

Related Words

reveal, express, pinpoint, show, suggest, signal, hint, mark, prove, imply, argue, announce, demonstrate, illustrate, make, specify, mean, attest, evidence, evince

Examples from the Web for indicate

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British Dictionary definitions for indicate


verb (tr)
  1. (may take a clause as object) to be or give a sign or symptom of; implycold hands indicate a warm heart
  2. to point out or show
  3. (may take a clause as object) to state briefly; suggesthe indicated what his feelings were
  4. (of instruments) to show a reading ofthe speedometer indicated 50 miles per hour
  5. (usually passive) to recommend or requiresurgery seems to be indicated for this patient
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Derived Formsindicatable, adjectiveindicatory (ɪnˈdɪkətərɪ, -trɪ), adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Latin indicāre to point out, from in- ² + dicāre to proclaim; compare index
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 indicate


1650s, back-formation from indication, or else from Latin indicatus, past participle of indicare "to point out, show, indicate, declare" (see indication). Related: Indicated; indicating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper