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 indistinctly

Historical Examples of indistinctly

  • "Not all skill—not all skill," piped the metallic voice, indistinctly.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • "You know everything," she answered, indistinctly, through her fingers.

    Tales of Unrest

    Joseph Conrad

  • “You should have the Croix de Guerre,” he said indistinctly.

    The Crimson Tide

    Robert W. Chambers

  • But a fog lay over the water, and he could see the geese but indistinctly.

  • At the same moment I heard, indistinctly, a strange, rumbling sound.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens

British Dictionary definitions for indistinctly



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 indistinctly



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