in·​del·​i·​ble | \ in-ˈde-lə-bəl How to pronounce indelible (audio) \

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 How to pronounce indelibility (audio) \ noun
indelibly \ in-​ˈde-​lə-​blē How to pronounce indelibly (audio) \ 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 sight of her raising her hands up high after scoring in the World Cup has become an indelible image. Darran Simon, CNN, "Megan Rapinoe says fight for equality in women's soccer is much more than about money. It's about investment in the sport," 9 July 2019 The photo of him with his head down, dejected, in Couva has unfortunately become one of the most indelible images of his international career so far. Brian Straus,, "Christian Pulisic Thrives in Greater Role in USA's Run to Gold Cup Final," 6 July 2019 Other rooms show how the black-and-white illustrations by British artists in weekly papers (above all, the pioneering Graphic, founded in 1869) left an indelible mark both on Van Gogh’s vision and his method. The New York Review of Books, "‘Van Gogh and Britain’," 17 June 2019 As part of the Hartford school system Rhoda left her indelible mark on students of all ages., "Rhoda Ann Morris," 16 June 2019 Much of this, of course, is childhood fabrication; puerile hero worship leaving an indelible mark on my memory. Aram Mrjoian, Longreads, "Bearing the Weight of My Grandfathers’ Old Clothes," 15 June 2019 Below, six Alabama chefs reflect on the legacy of Leah Chase, her impact on the culinary industry, and her indelible mark on history. Shauna Stuart |,, "Six Alabama chefs on the culinary legacy of Leah Chase," 11 June 2019 His six made 3-pointers in Game 7 of the NBA Finals left an indelible mark, after all. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: The big thing that must happen if the Warriors are to come back from a 3-1 NBA Finals deficit," 10 June 2019 This heartbreaking photo becomes the indelible image of desperation and despair... as stories emerge of neglected children in detention centers. NBC News, "Meet the Press - 6.30.19," 30 June 2019

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

21 Jul 2019

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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 How to pronounce indelible (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on indelible

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with indelible

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for indelible

Spanish Central: Translation of indelible

Nglish: Translation of indelible for Spanish Speakers

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).


to complain fretfully

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