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

Hollows run narrow, family ties deep, and shame leaves indelible marks. Jeffrey Fleishman,, "Documentary films explore the despair of America's heroin and opioid epidemic," 6 July 2018 The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has made an indelible mark on her favorite music. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "KC concerts July 5-11: Warped Tour, Joan Jett, Paramore, Xscape, STS9, Neko Case," 3 July 2018 As Obama’s foreign-policy speechwriter, Rhodes helped shape some of the president’s most indelible moments, from his path-breaking Cairo speech to his eulogy for Nelson Mandela. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "A Decade at Obama’s Side: An Interview With Ben Rhodes," 17 June 2018 Still, Ovechkin has already produced an indelible image for a purified fan base. Alex Prewitt,, "Confident and at Ease, These Capitals Aren't Worried About Past Playoff Disappointments," 15 May 2018 This scandal left an indelible stain on our country’s history. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "South Korean prosecutors request 30-year sentence for disgraced former president Park," 27 Feb. 2018 For Republicans, what seemed like a temporary political compromise is becoming an indelible moral stain. Michael Gerson, Anchorage Daily News, "Republicans watch as Trump makes the executive branch his personal fiefdom," 6 Feb. 2018 The Padres will offer three commemorative items recreating indelible memories from the closer’s career: a 500th save bobblehead, another bobblehead for his number retirement ceremony and a No. Dennis Lin,, "Padres to celebrate Hoffman's Hall of Fame induction, '98 team with 2018 promotions," 26 Jan. 2018 In other words, the stuff indelible memories are made of. Priscilla Eakeley, Town & Country, "The Town & Country Grand Tour," 5 Oct. 2016

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

18 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for indelible

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

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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

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a magnificent or impressive array

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