in·​def·​i·​nite (ˌ)in-ˈde-fə-nət How to pronounce indefinite (audio)
: not definite: such as
: not precise : vague
: having no exact limits
: typically designating an unidentified, generic, or unfamiliar person or thing
the indefinite articles a and an
indefinite pronouns
indefinite noun
indefinitely adverb
indefiniteness noun

Example Sentences

We're stuck here for an indefinite period of time. Their plans have been put on indefinite hold. She is indefinite about her plans.
Recent Examples on the Web Since then, Paramore has undergone several lineup changes, some tumultuous, and went on an indefinite hiatus in 2017. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, 12 Feb. 2023 After months of heated commentary from Fox News host Tucker Carlson about how unsexy the chocolate treats’ new spokescandies were becoming, Mars Inc., the company behind M&M’s, put them on an indefinite hiatus this week. WIRED, 27 Jan. 2023 Maya Rudolph is the new face of M&Ms after an ‘indefinite pause’ on the veteran spokescandies. Los Angeles Times, 24 Jan. 2023 Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images Variety, which first reported news of the film's indefinite hiatus, indicated that Ozark actress Julia Garner was set to star in the film as Madonna, though an official announcement was never made. Joey Nolfi,, 24 Jan. 2023 Following this week’s announcement that co-founding guitarist Joe Trohman is taking an indefinite hiatus due to mental health issues, the group performed as a power trio. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 20 Jan. 2023 In the summer of 1970, near the pinnacle of their popularity, the group went on indefinite hiatus. Charisma Madarang, Rolling Stone, 19 Jan. 2023 The news also compels Spears to take an indefinite hiatus from rehearsals for her Las Vegas show in order to support her father. Sabrina Park, Harper's BAZAAR, 12 Dec. 2022 University students in Nigeria have been at home since Feb. 14 thanks to an indefinite strike by lecturers across the country. Alexander Onukwue, Quartz, 12 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'indefinite.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin indefinitus, from in- + definitus definite

First Known Use

1530, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of indefinite was in 1530

Dictionary Entries Near indefinite

Cite this Entry

“Indefinite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​def·​i·​nite (ˈ)in-ˈdef-(ə-)nət How to pronounce indefinite (audio)
: not clear or fixed in meaning or details : vague
an indefinite answer
: not certain or limited (as in amount or length)
an indefinite period
: typically designating a person or thing that is unidentified or cannot be immediately identified
the indefinite articles "a" and "an"
indefinite noun
indefinitely adverb
indefiniteness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on indefinite

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