Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

indeterminate

play
adjective in·de·ter·mi·nate \ˌin-di-ˈtərm-nət, -ˈtər-mə-\

Simple Definition of indeterminate

  • : not able to be stated or described in an exact way

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of indeterminate

  1. 1 a :  not definitely or precisely determined or fixed :  vague b :  not known in advance c :  not leading to a definite end or result

  2. 2 :  having an infinite number of solutions <a system of indeterminate equations>

  3. 3 :  being one of the seven undefined mathematical expressions

  4. 4 :  characterized by sequential flowering from the lateral or basal buds to the central or uppermost buds; also :  characterized by growth in which the main stem continues to elongate indefinitely without being limited by a terminal inflorescence — compare determinate 4

indeterminately

adverb

indeterminateness

noun

indetermination

play \-ˌtər-mə-ˈnā-shən\ noun

Examples of indeterminate in a sentence

  1. an indeterminate number of people



Did You Know?

When you determine something, you decide on what it is, which means you put limits or boundaries on its identity. So something indeterminate lacks identifying limits. A mutt is usually the product of indeterminate breeding, since at least the father's identity is generally a mystery. A painting of indeterminate origins is normally less valued than one with the painter's name on it. And if negotiations are left in an indeterminate state, nothing has been decided.

Origin and Etymology of indeterminate

Middle English indeterminat, from Late Latin indeterminatus, from Latin in- + determinatus, past participle of determinare to determine


First Known Use: 14th century


Medical Dictionary

indeterminate

play
adjective in·de·ter·mi·nate \ˌin-di-ˈtərm-(ə-)nət\

Medical Definition of indeterminate

  1. :  relating to, being, or undergoing indeterminate cleavage <an indeterminate egg>




Learn More about indeterminate


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up indeterminate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

looking or feeling very sad

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

dog-eating-apple

Which is a synonym of asperse?

defame beat divulge placate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ