in·​def·​i·​nite | \ (ˌ)in-ˈdef-nət, -ˈde-fə- How to pronounce indefinite (audio) \

Definition of indefinite

: not definite: such as
a : not precise : vague
b : having no exact limits
c : typically designating an unidentified, generic, or unfamiliar person or thing the indefinite articles a and an indefinite pronouns

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Other Words from indefinite

indefinite noun
indefinitely adverb
indefiniteness noun

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 But after seven years, this has become an indefinite reality for inmates who should be in state prisons. Andy Mannix, Star Tribune, "Amid pandemic, Minnesota prisoners remain warehoused in county jails to make space for distancing," 11 Oct. 2020 Tenure — an indefinite appointment that comes with a raise — is usually achieved based on a combination of research, coursework and service, with the heaviest weight placed on research. Jillian Kramer, New York Times, "The Virus Moved Female Faculty to the Brink. Will Universities Help?," 6 Oct. 2020 In other words, people who haven’t committed crimes can be sentenced to indefinite detention. Marcia Brown, The New Republic, "The Best Way to Protect Immigrants From the Whims of Politics," 5 Oct. 2020 The law has been met with opposition from labor unions and politicians who sought to reject the reduction in severance pay and the introduction of indefinite labor contracts. Grace Sihombing,, "Indonesia Passes Law to Simplify Labor, Investment Rules," 5 Oct. 2020 Lightning, looking at an indefinite shutdown and losing about $1 million in orders, shifted to making face shields to help health care workers. Patrick Kennedy Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Outdoor activity surge boosts Minnesota kayak, canoe makers Lightning and Wenonah," 2 Oct. 2020 The continued and indefinite loss of foreign tourists because of coronavirus travel restrictions has dented Vietnam's economic recovery. Naomi Xu Elegant, Fortune, "One major Asian economy besides China is set for growth this year—and its GDP just rose 2.6%," 29 Sep. 2020 But the city has agreed to an indefinite delay of confiscation for the time being at the request of Oak Cliff leaders. David Tarrant, Dallas News, "Gnomeland Security: Kessler Park might be able to keep gnomes home after complaint to city," 31 Aug. 2020 On Tuesday, the Little Miami School District overturned the players' indefinite suspensions following an investigation that found the players were not trying to make a political statement. The Enquirer, "Little Miami players: Thin Blue Line, Thin Red Line flags were a tribute, not politics," 18 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for indefinite

Time Traveler

The first known use of indefinite was in 1530

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Statistics for indefinite

Last Updated

21 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Indefinite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for indefinite


How to pronounce indefinite (audio)

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 How to pronounce indefinite (audio) \

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

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