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

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

On August 21st his administration unveiled plans that could allow for the indefinite detention of undocumented families—including children—who cross the border illegally. The Economist, "What do Donald Trump’s immigration raids accomplish?," 22 Aug. 2019 His college teammate dying from heatstroke and his coach getting placed on indefinite leave only to be reinstated and dismissed the following day. Los Angeles Times, "UCLA’s 31-year-old punter Wade Lees continues his life journey in Westwood," 15 Aug. 2019 Taken together, these goals implied the indefinite presence of U.S. troops. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Trump Isn’t as Good as His Word," 24 Dec. 2018 The United Auto Workers union is leading its first strike against General Motors in 12 years, digging in for a fight over jobs and benefits that could cost the carmaker dearly for an indefinite period. David Welch And Keith Naughton / Bloomberg, Time, "'The Union Is Playing Some Hardball.' Here's Why GM Workers Are On Strike," 16 Sep. 2019 Nationals at Cardinals: Key injuries Nationals: C Kurt Suzuki is out for an indefinite period due to elbow inflammation. Chris Wassel, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals odds, picks and best bets," 16 Sep. 2019 That part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement would keep the UK closely aligned with the EU for an indefinite period in order to avoid a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Amy Woodyatt And Zahid Mahmood, CNN, "UK minister refuses to rule out ignoring law preventing no-deal Brexit," 1 Sep. 2019 Some 482 district voters were asked to weigh in on the prospect of continuing a $450 per-parcel tax to maintain schools and programs for an indefinite period of time. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "LCUSD voters support renewing $450 parcel tax indefinitely, survey says," 28 Aug. 2019 Nick Baumgardner, Freep Michigan football's offensive line depth took a hit last week when tackle Andrew Stueber suffered a leg injury — a malady that will keep him out for an indefinite period of time. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's offensive line: Here's who Ed Warinner says will start," 14 Nov. 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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Statistics for indefinite

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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

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


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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