in·​de·​ter·​mi·​na·​cy ˌin-di-ˈtər-mə-nə-sē How to pronounce indeterminacy (audio)
: the quality or state of being indeterminate

Examples of indeterminacy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These hidden variables would be present, Einstein and other physicists thought, when the entangled system was created and would determine what state the system would adopt, thus removing quantum indeterminacy and the troubling randomness of quantum systems. Robert Lea, Popular Mechanics, 28 June 2023 The concerto reveals, with marvel and magnificence, the essential nuance between the indeterminacy of nature’s rhythm and the chaos of our climate interference. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 30 May 2023 Its radical indeterminacy, its abyss of unstable identities and unresolved mysteries, is at the heart of Lou’s bold political diagnostics. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 21 Feb. 2023 Ron Hammond Lately, much attention — and critical praise — has centered on its recordings of works by Julius Eastman (1940-90), a pathbreaking composer whose music took elements of minimalism, indeterminacy, and experimentalism and from them created ecstatically strange and powerful works. David Weininger,, 22 Mar. 2023 The assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, also involved extremists hunting for Ms. Pelosi, and in spite of abundant documentation has been treated by partisans as a tangle of mystery, indeterminacy and through-the-looking-glass distortion. A.o. Scott, New York Times, 28 Jan. 2023 Mallarmé was the leading figure of Symbolism, the movement in French poetry—highly metaphorical, deliberately esoteric—that had turned away from traditional French classicism and clarity in favor of indeterminacy, synesthesia, and an emphasis on the musicality of language. Claire Messud, The New York Review of Books, 17 Nov. 2020 As if straining to recoup the novel’s difficulty, Gyllenhaal cultivates indeterminacy—a form of faux-difficulty, too little mind instead of too much. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 26 Jan. 2023 McCarthy has pocketed his own liturgical, ecstatic style as one would a coin, a ring, a key, in the service of a more demanding and heartless inquiry through mathematics and physics into the immateriality, the indeterminacy, of reality. Joy Williams, Harper’s Magazine , 14 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1649, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of indeterminacy was in 1649

Dictionary Entries Near indeterminacy

Cite this Entry

“Indeterminacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​de·​ter·​mi·​na·​cy ˌin-di-ˈtərm-(ə-)nə-sē How to pronounce indeterminacy (audio)
: the quality or state of being indeterminate

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