in·​de·​ter·​min·​ism | \ ˌin-di-ˈtər-mə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce indeterminism (audio) \

Definition of indeterminism

1a : a theory that the will is free and that deliberate choice and actions are not determined by or predictable from antecedent causes
b : a theory that holds that not every event has a cause
2 : the quality or state of being indeterminate especially : unpredictability

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Other Words from indeterminism

indeterminist \ ˌin-​di-​ˈtərm-​nist How to pronounce indeterminist (audio) , -​ˈtər-​mə-​ \ noun
indeterministic \ ˌin-​di-​ˌtər-​mə-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce indeterministic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of indeterminism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Quantum indeterminism implies that for a particular quantum state there are many (possibly infinite) alternative futures or potential realities. Paul Davies, Scientific American, "Time’s Passage is Probably an Illusion," 24 Oct. 2014 His language is spare, strange, and evocative, with a tugging indeterminism. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "“The Divers’ Game,” Jesse Ball’s Unnerving Parable of a Country That Feigns Innocence," 23 Sep. 2019 The characteristic features are indeterminism and uncertainty: fire an electron at an atom and observe it bounce to the right. Paul Davies, Slate Magazine, "Can We Really Travel Back in Time to Change History?," 16 Mar. 2017

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

1874, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of indeterminism was in 1874

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Cite this Entry

“Indeterminism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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