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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Still, many said the indefinite loss of a neighborhood staple would ripple through the community long after the attention to Buffalo faded. New York Times, 15 May 2022 An indefinite blockade of Ukrainian ports would affect every country in the world, but some are more in need of food imports than others, and more at risk of a catastrophic food shortage. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 13 May 2022 This was after the Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that the detainees could file lawsuits challenging their indefinite detention. Mark Sherman And Mary Clare Jalonick, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Mar. 2022 The government ordered the indefinite closure of schools and three rounds of testing of virtually all the capital's 21 million residents this week. Ken Moritsugu, ajc, 29 Apr. 2022 News of Elderserve's indefinite closing came as a shock to some community members who see the loss as a step backward for the Russell neighborhood, which has recently experienced a dizzying amount of investments. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, 25 Apr. 2022 Most alarming is the indefinite lockdown in Shanghai, a city of 25 million and one of China's premiere manufacturing and export hubs. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 17 Apr. 2022 Shanghai, a city of 25 million and one of China’s largest manufacturing and export hubs, is under an indefinite citywide lockdown. Aurora Almendral, Quartz, 11 Apr. 2022 It is now authorized to add an indefinite number without first seeking the S.E.C.’s blessing. New York Times, 8 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of indefinite

1530, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for indefinite

Latin indefinitus, from in- + definitus definite

Learn More About indefinite

Time Traveler for indefinite

Time Traveler

The first known use of indefinite was in 1530

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near indefinite



indefinite article

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for indefinite

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Indefinite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for indefinite


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

More from Merriam-Webster on indefinite

Nglish: Translation of indefinite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of indefinite for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!