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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Next to the body was a suede ottoman with a slight indentation. Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Mar. 2022 Make a small indentation in the center of the spinach and crack an egg directly into it. Jessica Battilana, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Mar. 2022 Videos verified by The Washington Post show extensive damage, as well as flames and plumes of smoke rising up from a large indentation in the middle of the building. Washington Post, 11 Mar. 2022 Press each one down slightly to make a mini burger patty, pressing in the center slightly to make an indentation. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 13 Feb. 2022 The indentation, or punt, is partly a matter of tradition and in some cases a necessity. New York Times, 30 Dec. 2021 There was an indentation in the soil in the shape of Anais and her child’s life. Lauren Groff, The New Yorker, 7 Feb. 2022 And rather than a sizable space between the two humps, there was just a slight indentation -- a trait that has been observed in hybrids of these camel breeds. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 25 Jan. 2022 This virtually no-show, ultra-light sock is constructed with a firm compression and mesh pattern in the footbed that will support every indentation of your foot. Jonathan Beverly, Outside Online, 23 July 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of indentation

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

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

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Last Updated

11 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Indentation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for indentation


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

More from Merriam-Webster on indentation

Nglish: Translation of indentation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of indentation for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about indentation


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