in·​de·​ter·​min·​ism ˌin-di-ˈtər-mə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce indeterminism (audio)
: a theory that the will is free and that deliberate choice and actions are not determined by or predictable from antecedent causes
: a theory that holds that not every event has a cause
: the quality or state of being indeterminate
especially : unpredictability
indeterminist noun
indeterministic adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Neuroscience, quantum indeterminism and the Cartesian soul. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 22 Dec. 2013 Quantum indeterminism implies that for a particular quantum state there are many (possibly infinite) alternative futures or potential realities. Paul Davies, Scientific American, 24 Oct. 2014 His language is spare, strange, and evocative, with a tugging indeterminism. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 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, 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.

Word History

First Known Use

1874, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of indeterminism was in 1874

Dictionary Entries Near indeterminism

Cite this Entry

“Indeterminism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

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