not distinct; not clearly marked or defined: indistinct markings.
not clearly distinguishable or perceptible, as to the eye, ear, or mind: He heard an indistinct muttering.
not distinguishing clearly: After the accident he suffered from indistinct vision and faulty hearing.

Origin of indistinct

From the Latin word indistinctus, dating back to 1520–30. See in-3, distinct
Related formsin·dis·tinct·ly, adverbin·dis·tinct·ness, noun

Synonyms for indistinct

2. blurred, clouded, dim. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for indistinct

Contemporary Examples of indistinct

Historical Examples of indistinct

  • They recite in a timid and indistinct tone the prescribed fustian.

  • But there was only an indistinct humming, and nothing precise came to her.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • In an indistinct way he felt the dishonor that was Alan Porter's being given to him.


    W. A. Fraser

  • He muttered an indistinct "Very well, mamma," as he shut the door.

    Great Uncle Hoot-Toot

    Mrs. Molesworth

  • It left in the paper an indistinct impression resembling a fabric.

British Dictionary definitions for indistinct



incapable of being clearly distinguished, as by the eyes, ears, or mind; not distinct
Derived Formsindistinctly, adverbindistinctness, noun
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 indistinct

c.1400 (implied in indistinctly "equally, alike"), from Latin indistinctus "not distinct, confused," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + distinctus (see distinct). Related: Indistinctly; indistinctness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper