in·​del·​i·​ble | \in-ˈde-lə-bəl \

Definition of indelible 

1a : that cannot be removed, washed away, or erased

b : making marks that cannot easily be removed an indelible pencil

2a : lasting indelible memories

b : unforgettable, memorable an indelible performance

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Other Words from indelible

indelibility \ (ˌ)in-​ˌde-​lə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
indelibly \ in-​ˈde-​lə-​blē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for indelible


memorable, unforgettable



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Examples of indelible in a Sentence

But the most indelible evening of the rebellion for me was the night I had first got beaten. — Amiri Baraka, The Autobiography of Leroi Jones, 1984 All wars change society and hence leave an indelible imprint on literary culture. — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times Book Review, 15 Apr. 1984 The illustrator of children's books surpasses other artists in the impressionability of his audience; it is beyond calculation, no doubt, what touches will produce an indelible effect, when the receiving surface of a child's psyche is so soft and mysteriously laden and momentous with its own raw energy. — John Updike, New York Times Book Review, 4 Dec. 1983 winning the state basketball championship was our team's most indelible experience
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Recent Examples on the Web

The image of the gray-haired family physician, stethoscope in ear, patiently listening to the heartbeat of a porcelain doll as his young patient looks on, is indelible in the public memory. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "Why Hasn’t Telemedicine Taken Off? Hey, Blame This Guy.," 3 July 2018 The Cubs’ mark on Sosa, though, hasn’t always been indelible., "Exiled by the Cubs, Sammy Sosa Is Enjoying the Life He Wants You to See," 27 June 2018 Unlike the unabating belt of Gabby Barrett or deep croon of rival Caleb Lee Hutchinson — remaining finalists who have drawn comparisons to past Idol winners Carrie Underwood and Scotty McCreery — Poppe's vocals are indelible and singular. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Maddie Poppe deserves to be your next 'American Idol,' but can she win?," 21 May 2018 Richard’s reign is just two years long; but the scar is indelible. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Obama’s Legacy Has Already Been Destroyed," 18 May 2018 But there were tens of other plays that were indelible and instrumental in the victory. Jeff Mclane,, "Super Bowl highlights: Reviewing the Eagles' top 10 plays against the Patriots (other than 'Philly Special')," 9 Feb. 2018 San Antonians on Monday mourned Edith McAllister, a tiny dynamo who left an indelible impact on every aspect of the city, from education to the arts to medicine. Carmina Danini And Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje, San Antonio Express-News, "McAllister remembered for her generosity, vitality," 2 July 2018 For artists, streaming numbers have an indelible impact on how a song performs on the charts. Sarah Midkiff,, "Beyoncé & Jay-Z Have A Word With Everyone On Everything Is Love," 17 June 2018 The bonds are unbreakable, the impact indelible and the shared experiences unparalleled — for me too. David Haugh,, "Thanks, hockey, for making my son stronger and helping fathers understand kids a little better," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indelible.' 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 indelible

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for indelible

Middle English indelyble, from Medieval Latin indelibilis, alteration of Latin indelebilis, from in- + delēre to delete

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Statistics for indelible

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for indelible

The first known use of indelible was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for indelible



English Language Learners Definition of indelible

: impossible to remove or forget

: producing marks that cannot be erased


in·​del·​i·​ble | \in-ˈde-lə-bəl \

Kids Definition of indelible

1 : impossible to remove or forget He made an indelible impression.

2 : making marks not easily removed indelible ink

Other Words from indelible

indelibly \ -​blē \ adverb

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Comments on indelible

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


playful or foolish behavior

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