indiscriminate

adjective
in·​dis·​crim·​i·​nate | \ˌin-di-ˈskrim-nət, -ˈskri-mə-\

Definition of indiscriminate 

1a : not marked by careful distinction : deficient in discrimination and discernment indiscriminate reading habits indiscriminate mass destruction

b : haphazard, random indiscriminate application of a law

2a : promiscuous, unrestrained indiscriminate sexual behavior

b : heterogeneous, motley an indiscriminate collection

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Other Words from indiscriminate

indiscriminately adverb
indiscriminateness noun

Examples of indiscriminate in a Sentence

They participated in the indiscriminate slaughter of countless innocent victims. He objects to the indiscriminate use of pesticides. She has been indiscriminate in choosing her friends.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The housing market boomed in the early 2000s amid low interest rates and a deregulatory environment that led to indiscriminate — and often predatory — lending to subprime borrowers with low credit scores and questionable abilities to repay. Jim Puzzanghera, The Seattle Times, "A decade after the financial crisis, many Americans are still struggling to recover," 10 Sep. 2018 Mexico has been accused of indiscriminate long-term detention of asylum seekers (exacerbated by a two-year backlog in processing applications), and some parts of Mexico aren’t safe for people who are already fleeing violence. Dara Lind, Vox, "The migrant caravan, explained," 24 Oct. 2018 Beijing’s concerns about high corporate debt levels and capital outflows mean indiscriminate empire-building is now a taboo. Andrew Peaple, WSJ, "HNA’s Grounded—and So Is Chinese M&A," 7 Sep. 2018 Intense urban warfare, as demonstrated by the recent battles for Aleppo and Mosul, remains grinding and indiscriminate, and will continue to present difficult problems for well-meaning Western intervention forces. The Economist, "The future of war," 25 Jan. 2018 The most damning evidence was that nurses had raised concerns in 1991 about indiscriminate use of opioids and syringe drivers. Rupert Darwall, WSJ, "Reform the NHS Before It Kills Again," 4 July 2018 Most observers think that indiscriminate killings by the army and the forcing of people into garrison towns are fuelling the insurgency. The Economist, "The fight against Islamic State is moving to Africa," 14 July 2018 Following militant attacks on police posts in August, the military led a crackdown on Rohingya Muslims that forced more than 700,000 to flee to neighboring Bangladesh amid allegations of indiscriminate killing, arson and rape. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "Myanmar judge to decide next week whether to try case of Reuters journalists held for 200 days," 2 July 2018 Human-rights organizations have largely condemned Mr. Duterte’s indiscriminate killing, which has claimed about 4,000 to 12,000 lives. Sara Aridi, New York Times, "What’s on TV Monday: ‘Sami Blood’ and ‘Amo’," 9 Apr. 2018

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

circa 1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for indiscriminate

The first known use of indiscriminate was circa 1598

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More Definitions for indiscriminate

indiscriminate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of indiscriminate

: affecting or harming many people or things in a careless or unfair way

: not careful in making choices

indiscriminate

adjective
in·​dis·​crim·​i·​nate | \ˌin-di-ˈskri-mə-nət \

Kids Definition of indiscriminate

: not done in a careful way : wrongly causing widespread harm They objected to the indiscriminate use of pesticides.

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