indeterminate

play
adjective in·de·ter·mi·nate \ˌin-di-ˈtərm-nət, -ˈtər-mə-\

Definition of indeterminate

  1. 1a :  not definitely or precisely determined or fixed :  vagueb :  not known in advancec :  not leading to a definite end or result

  2. 2 :  having an infinite number of solutions a system of indeterminate equations

  3. 3 :  being one of the seven undefined mathematical expressions :  being one of the seven undefined mathematical expressions that include zero divided by zero, infinity divided by infinity, infinity multiplied by zero, one to the exponent infinity, zero to the exponent zero, infinity to the exponent zero, and infinity minus infinity

  4. 4 :  characterized by sequential flowering from the lateral or basal buds to the central or uppermost buds; also :  characterized by growth in which the main stem continues to elongate indefinitely without being limited by a terminal inflorescence — compare determinate 4

indeterminately

adverb

indeterminateness

noun

indetermination

play \ˌin-di-ˌtər-mə-ˈnā-shən\ noun

Examples of indeterminate in a Sentence

  1. an indeterminate number of people

Recent Examples of indeterminate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indeterminate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

When you determine something, you decide on what it is, which means you put limits or boundaries on its identity. So something indeterminate lacks identifying limits. A mutt is usually the product of indeterminate breeding, since at least the father's identity is generally a mystery. A painting of indeterminate origins is normally less valued than one with the painter's name on it. And if negotiations are left in an indeterminate state, nothing has been decided.

Origin and Etymology of indeterminate

Middle English indeterminat, from Late Latin indeterminatus, from Latin in- + determinatus, past participle of determinare to determine


INDETERMINATE Defined for English Language Learners

indeterminate

play
adjective

Definition of indeterminate for English Language Learners

  • : not able to be stated or described in an exact way


Medical Dictionary

indeterminate

play
adjective in·de·ter·mi·nate \ˌin-di-ˈtərm-(ə-)nət\

Medical Definition of indeterminate

  1. :  relating to, being, or undergoing indeterminate cleavage an indeterminate egg


Learn More about indeterminate


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up indeterminate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

lethargy or dullness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!