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 There is no serious desire to extend state lockdowns into an indefinite future. David French, Time, "President Trump's Dangerous and Foolish Impatience on Coronavirus," 24 Mar. 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has ushered in an indefinite spring break for businesses in towns like College Station, Texas, home to one of the nation’s largest campuses in Texas A&M University. Charity L. Scott, WSJ, "Coronavirus Clears Out Campuses, Stinging Small Stores in College Towns," 24 Mar. 2020 Kentucky's school closures — initially, weeks-long, but possibly becoming indefinite — are especially tough on Angelina, 15. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "As the coronavirus interrupts daily life, a Louisville family grapples with a new reality," 20 Mar. 2020 Broshuis and his fellow organizers feel even more emboldened now, given the uncertainty thousands of minor leaguers face because of the cancellation of spring training and the indefinite postponement of the regular season. James Wagner, New York Times, "Minor Leaguers Lack a Safety Net. A New Group Wants to Create One," 20 Mar. 2020 For some IndyCar drivers, iRacing and the world of online simulated racing is incredibly foreign — something they've been forced to dive into, given the series' current indefinite pause. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "With four 2020 races canceled, IndyCar turns to iRacing to fill the competitive void," 20 Mar. 2020 As much of the nation adjusts this week to sudden and indefinite home confinement, prison and jail wardens across the U.S. are scrambling to forestall an outbreak of COVID-19 inside a crowded U.S. correctional facility. Chris Francescani, ABC News, "Fearing outbreaks and riots, nation’s prison and jail wardens scramble to respond to coronavirus threat," 19 Mar. 2020 Closing factories, whether temporary or indefinite, is just the start of the industry’s woes, says Peter Nagle, automotive industry analyst for IHS Markit. Eric Adams, Wired, "Covid-19 Is Bad for the Auto Industry—and Even Worse for EVs," 19 Mar. 2020 The Italian government has shut down all businesses except pharmacies and grocery stores and put its society at an indefinite standstill while officials and experts try to stop the spread of the illness. Tim Pearce, Washington Examiner, "Italy coronavirus death toll surpasses that of China after one-day spike in fatalities," 19 Mar. 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

27 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

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