[ in-di-keyt ]
See synonyms for: indicateindicatedindicatesindicating on

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.

  1. to show, as by measuring or recording; make known: The thermometer indicates air temperature.

  2. to state or express, especially briefly or in a general way; signal: He indicated his disapproval but did not go into detail.

  3. Medicine/Medical.

    • (of symptoms) to point out (a particular remedy, treatment, etc.) as suitable or necessary.

    • to show the presence of (a condition, infection, etc.).

Origin of indicate

First recorded in 1645–55; from Latin indicātus, past participle of indicāre “to point, make known,” equivalent to indic- (stem of index ) “pointer, marker, informer” + -ātus past participle suffix; see index, -ate1

Other words for indicate

Other words from indicate

  • in·di·cat·a·ble, adjective
  • in·dic·a·to·ry [in-dik-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee], /ɪnˈdɪk əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjective
  • in·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, adjective
  • well-in·di·cat·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use indicate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for indicate


/ (ˈɪndɪˌkeɪt) /

  1. (may take a clause as object) to be or give a sign or symptom of; imply: cold hands indicate a warm heart

  2. to point out or show

  1. (may take a clause as object) to state briefly; suggest: he indicated what his feelings were

  2. (of instruments) to show a reading of: the speedometer indicated 50 miles per hour

  3. (usually passive) to recommend or require: surgery seems to be indicated for this patient

Origin of indicate

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

Derived forms of indicate

  • indicatable, adjective
  • indicatory (ɪnˈdɪkətərɪ, -trɪ), adjective

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