of no recognized, definite, or particular type or kind: a nondescript novel; a nondescript color.
undistinguished or uninteresting; dull or insipid: The private detective deliberately wore nondescript clothes.


a person or a thing of no particular or notable type or kind.

Origin of nondescript

1675–85; non- + Latin dēscrīptus (past participle of dēscrībere to describe, define, represent; see describe)

Synonyms for nondescript

1. undistinctive, usual, ordinary, unexceptional. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nondescript

Contemporary Examples of nondescript

Historical Examples of nondescript

  • The nondescript knew two Miss Dorrits; one who was born inside—That was the one!

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • He was dressed in the nondescript costume he had worn at their first meeting.

  • All the rooms were empty except for some nondescript lumber in one or two.

    Within the Tides

    Joseph Conrad

  • The pilot and one of the nondescript men were the first over.

    A World is Born

    Leigh Douglass Brackett

  • The waistcoat is nondescript, but the boots are irreproachable.

    Canada and the Canadians

    Sir Richard Henry Bonnycastle

British Dictionary definitions for nondescript



lacking distinct or individual characteristics; having no outstanding features


a nondescript person or thing

Word Origin for nondescript

C17: from non- + Latin dēscriptus, past participle of dēscribere to copy, describe
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 nondescript

1680s, "not hitherto described," in scientific usage, coined from non- + Latin descriptus, past participle of describere (see describe). General sense of "not easily described or classified" is from 1806.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper