in·​den·​ta·​tion | \ ˌin-ˌden-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce indentation (audio) \

Definition of indentation

1a : the blank space produced by indenting : indention sense 1a a half-inch indentation
b : the action of indenting indentation of a line of text : the condition of being indented a paragraph set out by indentation
2a : an angular cut (such as a notch) or something resembling such a cut in an edge indentations along the edge of a leaf
b : a usually deep recess (as along a coastline) a coastline with many indentations
2 : dent Test [the fish] by depressing the flesh with a finger; it should spring back to its original shape leaving no indentation.— Carole Sugarman

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Examples of indentation in a Sentence

Our style guidelines call for indentation of the first line of each paragraph. a coastline with many indentations There were several small indentations in the surface of the table.
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Recent Examples on the Web Use your fingertips to press a slight indentation in the center of the football to form a shallow canoe shape about 2-inches long with thick sides. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Masa treats in time for Cinco de Mayo celebrations," 29 Apr. 2021 The tank was likely fairly lightweight, hence the indentation rather than a crater. Eric Mack, Forbes, "SpaceX Rocket That Burned Up Over Seattle Also Dropped Space Junk On A Farm," 4 Apr. 2021 Crack an egg into each indentation, sprinkle with salt and pepper and return to the oven. Jessica Battilana, San Francisco Chronicle, "Transform diner-style hash into an elegant dinner with beets and other additions," 12 Mar. 2021 Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched. Meredith Deeds Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Do-ahead steps make a lavish homemade brunch easy," 24 Mar. 2021 In addition to this ‘indentation’ form of grip, in dry conditions, tyre rubber can make an even more intimate form of contact. Laurie Winkless, Forbes, "Scientists Unveil What Happens When Tyres Slide On Wet Roads," 17 Mar. 2021 Smartish has two such designs; one, the Gripzilla, features indentations on its rugged design to mimic the indentation that would be made by human fingers. Popsci Commerce Team, Popular Science, "Best iPhone cases for protection and style," 26 Feb. 2021 With the back of a teaspoon, make an indentation in the center of each scone, then spoon in 1 tablespoon of the jam. Jessica Battilana, San Francisco Chronicle, "Haunted by a bakery's buttery scone, our columnist re-creates it," 26 Feb. 2021 Fill each indentation with jam (about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon). Arkansas Democrat-gazette, Arkansas Online, "12 Christmas cookie recipes to spice up your holiday repertoire," 17 Dec. 2020

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

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

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Time Traveler for indentation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for indentation

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Indentation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for indentation



English Language Learners Definition of indentation

: a space at the beginning of a written line or paragraph
: the act of indenting a line or paragraph
: a cut in or into the edge of something


in·​den·​ta·​tion | \ ˌin-ˌden-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce indentation (audio) \

Kids Definition of indentation

1 : a blank or empty space at the beginning of a written or printed line or paragraph
2 : a cut or dent in something

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Comments on indentation

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