in·def·i·nite | \(ˌ)in-ˈdef-nət, -ˈde-fə-\

Definition of indefinite 

: not definite: such as

a : typically designating an unidentified, generic, or unfamiliar person or thing the indefinite articles a and an indefinite pronouns

b : not precise : vague

c : having no exact limits

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Other Words from indefinite

indefinite noun
indefinitely adverb
indefiniteness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for indefinite


fuzzy, inexplicit, muzzy, unclear, vague


clear, definite, explicit, specific

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Examples of indefinite in a Sentence

We're stuck here for an indefinite period of time. Their plans have been put on indefinite hold. She is indefinite about her plans.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals will be the heroes of D.C. for the indefinite future after decisively winning their first Stanley Cup on Thursday night with a victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Alex Ovechkin threw a terrible first pitch, so Max Scherzer gave him a do-over," 9 June 2018 The solution that’s on the table right now reads a lot like indefinite detention for these families and that is also unacceptable. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Charlotte and Dave Willner, plus Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky on Recode Decode," 9 July 2018 Rather, the idea is that the most genetically robust people survive into old age — and could potentially continue to live for an indefinite amount of time, if technology advances permit. Meghana Keshavan, STAT, "The age plateau: New study suggests, at certain age, risk of death no longer increases," 28 June 2018 Instead, parents and children — many of whom are refugees fleeing persecution in their home countries — will now be placed together in detainment facilities, for an indefinite amount of time., "Here's How Celebrities Are Helping At The Border," 25 June 2018 People could have their funds stuck for an indefinite amount of time. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Bitcoin Mania Made Longfin a $6.2 Billion Company. Now Under SEC Scrutiny, Traders Can't Get Out of It," 6 Apr. 2018 The project will come at no cost to taxpayers, and Ford is assuming full liability for anything that goes wrong during the project, which will have an indefinite run time. Rob Wile, miamiherald, "Ford is arriving with a solution to Miami’s terrible drivers: eliminate them | Miami Herald," 27 Feb. 2018 The leave is indefinite, pending the outcome of the district's investigation and Thole's completion of her training, said Mason schools spokeswoman Tracey Carson. Hannah Sparling,, "Mason mom on teacher: ‘I never wanted her fired’ for lynching remark," 16 Jan. 2018 Of course, carb rinsing alone cannot sustain players for an indefinite period. New York Times, "That Spitting Thing at the World Cup? It’s Probably ‘Carb Rinsing’," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indefinite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of indefinite

1530, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for indefinite

Latin indefinitus, from in- + definitus definite

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Phrases Related to indefinite

indefinite article

indefinite pronoun

Statistics for indefinite

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for indefinite

The first known use of indefinite was in 1530

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More Definitions for indefinite



English Language Learners Definition of indefinite

: not certain in amount or length

: not clear or certain in meaning or details


in·def·i·nite | \in-ˈde-fə-nət \

Kids Definition of indefinite

1 : not certain in amount or length an indefinite period

2 : not clear in meaning or details She is indefinite about her plans.

Other Words from indefinite

indefinitely adverb

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Comments on indefinite

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


not any or not one

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