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 The road gives way to a dirt drive, then to overgrown grass with indentations of tire tracks., "AUSTRALIA / BRAZIL / CALIFORNIA / CANADA / CHINA / COLOMBIA / FLORIDA / GERMANY / HAWAII / INDIA / IRAN / ITALY / JAPAN / LONDON / MEXICO / NORTH CAROLINA / NETHERLANDS / NEW YORK / NIGERIA /PALESTINE /PUERTO RICO / RUSSIA / SINGAPORE / SOUTH DAKOTA / SPAIN / TEXAS / U.K. / WASHINGTON / WISCONSIN," 8 May 2020 But streaked across the ground are distinct indentations of rocks that have seemingly been dragged from one spot to another. Jessica Boddy, Popular Science, "Welcome to Earth, home to human-sized salamanders and skin-eating worms," 22 Apr. 2020 All four blades exhibited similar damage consisting of midspan bending, pocket separation, blade tip separation, and leading-edge indentations and scuffing. New York Times, "Read the Preliminary N.T.S.B. Report About the Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash," 7 Feb. 2020 This is a collection of holes or indentations in the ground, located near places with lots of water runoff, such as roofs, driveways, and sidewalks. Anna Brooks, Popular Science, "How to create a perfectly imperfect lawn," 15 June 2018 Most spawning occurs in 1 to 5 foot depths, and the beds are often visible as shallow indentations in gravel or sand bottom, particularly close to grass or brush cover and around stumps and fallen trees. Frank Sargeant, al, "Friday Fishing Report," 10 Apr. 2020 Make four individual indentations, where the eggs will sit, in the corners of the dish. Isabel Wilkinson, New York Times, "A Pajama Designer’s Easy but Unexpected Egg Dish," 1 Apr. 2020 Make a few indentations in the sauce with the back of your spoon, and crack an egg into each. Jessica Battliana,, "Countless recipes from your well-stocked pandemic pantry," 18 Mar. 2020 Screw holes and toggles have been incorporated into the designs in witty ways, so that the indentations and protrusions are used to represent human and animal body parts such as eyes, nostrils, horns, tongues and penises. New York Times, "When You Turn on the Lights, Linger a Little," 12 Mar. 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

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Indentation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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How to pronounce indentation (audio)

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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