in·​di·​cate | \ˈin-də-ˌkāt \
indicated; indicating

Definition of indicate 

transitive verb

1a : to point out or point to

b : to be a sign, symptom, or index of the high fever indicates a serious condition

c : to demonstrate or suggest the necessity or advisability of indicated the need for a new school the indicated treatment

2 : to state or express briefly indicated a desire to cooperate

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of indicate in a Sentence

Our records indicate a depth of 3,000 feet here. The map indicates where the treasure is buried. There is nothing to indicate that the two events are connected. The size of his offer indicates that he is eager to buy the house. The general used a long ruler to indicate on the map exactly where the troops would land. We asked how to get to the rear entrance, and he indicated a path leading around the right side of the building.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Last week, financial markets reacted strongly to comments by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell that indicated the central bank was closer to reaching a neutral policy stance than was once the case. Michael S. Derby, WSJ, "Fed’s Kashkari Still Believes Rate Increases Are a Bad Idea," 3 Dec. 2018 While the evidence remains largely preliminary, these individual cases have reached a critical mass, which indicates something is happening that needs to be explored in a more rigorous way. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 Ribas and his team noticed a pattern in Barnard’s star’s wobbling within the 20 years’ worth of data, which indicated a planet revolving around the star every 233 days. Loren Grush, The Verge, "A cold ‘super-Earth’ may live around a nearby star," 14 Nov. 2018 Look for comforters with a baffle-box construction, which will usually be indicated on the packaging. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Comforter," 14 Oct. 2018 Sound Seers™: These acoustic sensors listen for audio that indicates a weapon is being activated and about to be used, supplementing the S-Pod’s visuals. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The World of 2045," 14 Oct. 2018 Initially, the spacecraft stared at more than 150,000 stars simultaneously, watching for tiny brightness dips that could indicate the passage of orbiting planets across these stars' faces. Mike Wall,, "NASA's Kepler Planet-Hunting Space Telescope Wakes Up Again," 13 Oct. 2018 While everyone knows about the telltale signs of a heart attack — tightness in the chest, pain down your left arm — there are other symptoms that could indicate a heart attack is about to hit you full-force. Amy Capetta, Redbook, "6 Subtle Signs of a Heart Attack in Women," 25 July 2018 Fat residues, which DNA indicates came from red deer and ibex, made up about 50% of the total undigested food in his stomach, the team writes today in Current Biology. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "The ‘Iceman’s’ last meal was a high-fat feast," 12 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of indicate

1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for indicate

Latin indicatus, past participle of indicare, from in- + dicare to proclaim, dedicate — more at diction

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about indicate

Statistics for indicate

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for indicate

The first known use of indicate was in 1541

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for indicate



English Language Learners Definition of indicate

: to show (something) : to show that (something) exists or is true

: to direct attention to (someone or something) usually by pointing

: to show or suggest that (something) is needed


in·​di·​cate | \ˈin-də-ˌkāt \
indicated; indicating

Kids Definition of indicate

1 : to point out or point to Indicate your neighborhood on the map.

2 : to state or express briefly He stepped back … and by so doing indicated that he had finished.— Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet The Spy


transitive verb
in·​di·​cate | \ˈin-də-ˌkāt \
indicated; indicating

Medical Definition of indicate 

1 : to be a fairly certain symptom of : show the presence or existence of the high fever indicates a serious condition

2 : to call for especially as treatment for a particular condition radical surgery is often indicated in advanced cancer

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on indicate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with indicate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for indicate

Spanish Central: Translation of indicate

Nglish: Translation of indicate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of indicate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on indicate

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


having a pattern of small flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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