indent

1 of 4

verb (1)

in·​dent in-ˈdent How to pronounce indent (audio)
indented; indenting; indents

transitive verb

1
: to set (something, such as a line of a paragraph) in from the margin
2
: to notch the edge of : make jagged
3
chiefly British : to order by an indent
4
5
a
: to divide (a document) so as to produce sections with irregular edges that can be matched for authentication
b
: to draw up (something, such as a deed) in two or more exactly corresponding copies

intransitive verb

1
: to form an indentation
2
chiefly British : to make out an indent for something
3
obsolete : to make a formal or express agreement
indenter noun

indent

2 of 4

noun (1)

1
: the blank space produced by indenting : indention
Begin each paragraph with an indent.
a half-inch indent
2
b
: a certificate issued by the U.S. at the close of the American Revolution for the principal or interest on the public debt
3
chiefly British
a
: an official requisition
b
: a purchase order for goods especially when sent from a foreign country

indent

3 of 4

verb (2)

in·​dent in-ˈdent How to pronounce indent (audio)
indented; indenting; indents

transitive verb

1
: to force inward so as to form a depression
2
: to form a dent in

indent

4 of 4

noun (2)

Phrases
indent on
1
chiefly British : to make a requisition on
2
chiefly British : to draw on

Examples of indent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The side panels are indented like the Lyriq, and the front and rear lights are almost identical as well. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, 14 Dec. 2023 Arriving in two different sizes (large and XXL), the earring features lines indented appearing as if hit by literal rays of light. Robyn Mowatt, Essence, 3 Oct. 2023 Today, arranging words into shapes is a matter of spacing and indenting text in a digital file with a keystroke or the click of a mouse. V.m. Braganza, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Aug. 2023 Beneath the cliffs, the land swoons down through a tumult of rock, blossoms, pine trees, and villas to a shore indented with bays. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 July 2023 The two closest and easiest to reach – Ugljan and Pašman – are only 25 minutes away by boat and are almost like suburbs of Zadar, albeit suburbs smothered with olive groves, indented with pebbly coves and crisscrossed with hiking and biking trails. Mary Novakovich, CNN, 5 June 2023 Use a potter's needle tool to indent the outline. Charlyne Mattox, Country Living, 15 July 2022 Use a potter's needle to indent the outline, then chisel out using a potter's ribbon tool. Charlyne Mattox, Country Living, 15 July 2022 Along with a deep clean of the station, everyone will indent their supplies and begin ordering equipment for the following season, in preparation for the next busy work period. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 26 Mar. 2015
Noun
For example, during implant removals, Dr. Few will often use fat to smooth out transition areas — under the clavicle, right above the breast, around cleavage — where there can be indents or sharp transitions after implants are taken out. Elizabeth Siegel, Allure, 6 Dec. 2023 Dimple makers create an indent by compressing the skin and underlying fat in the cheek. Vanessa Etienne, Peoplemag, 20 Oct. 2023 The indent on the back further serves as a place to grip the speaker. PCMAG, 18 Sep. 2023 Small objects like an ant indent the thin film on top of water, and that dimple on the surface can pull in nearby ants. Victoria Sayo Turner, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Sep. 2023 The small indent at the bottom allows them to be stored on top of one another. Samantha MacAvoy, Good Housekeeping, 30 Aug. 2023 Clear globes appeal to your cat's digging instinct, and pegs, alleyways, and indents will encourage them to hunt. Toni Sutton, Peoplemag, 27 Aug. 2023 Instead, there will be hand made indents and carvings that will allow the roof's pieces to connect like a puzzle. Ines De La Cuetara, ABC News, 27 July 2023 Next, carve an indent into the palm-sized piece of wood for the top of the spindle to fit into. Jim Baird, Field & Stream, 28 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'indent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French endenter, from en- + dent tooth, from Latin dent-, dens — more at tooth

Verb (2)

Middle English endenten, from en- + denten to dent

First Known Use

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 5a

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Verb (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1596, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of indent was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near indent

Cite this Entry

“Indent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indent. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

indent

1 of 2 verb
in·​dent in-ˈdent How to pronounce indent (audio)
1
: to notch the edge of : make jagged
indented leaves
2
: to set in from the margin
indent the first line of a paragraph

indent

2 of 2 verb
: to form a dent in
indenter noun
Etymology

Verb

Middle English indenten "indent," from early French endenter (same meaning), from earlier en- "to provide with" and dent "tooth," from Latin dent-, dens "tooth" — related to dental

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