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

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 But Mr Erdogan’s revenge has been indiscriminate and disproportionate. The Economist, "Turkey’s president deserves to lose on June 24th," 21 June 2018 The support has continued despite international alarm over the coalition’s air campaign against the Houthis, which has killed thousands of civilians in airstrikes that human rights groups have alleged are frequently indiscriminate. Washington Post, "Saudi Arabia-led military coalition launches offensive on Yemen port city of Hodeida," 13 June 2018 Residents complained that the coalition bombing was indiscriminate and demanded compensation. Philip Issa,, "Amnesty International says US-led coalition caused many civilian deaths in fight for Raqqa," 6 June 2018 Residents complained that the coalition bombing was indiscriminate and demanded compensation. Philip Issa, Fox News, "Rights group says US-led coalition destroyed Syrian city," 4 June 2018 This duty spared him some of the hard labor and indiscriminate brutality that befell other captives and allowed him to join an underground resistance that secretly assumed leadership roles within the camps, roles that continued after liberation. Emanuella Grinberg, Smithsonian, "When a Bavarian Monastery Provided a Home to Jewish Refugees," 11 July 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

30 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for indiscriminate

The first known use of indiscriminate was circa 1598

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English Language Learners Definition of indiscriminate

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

: not careful in making choices


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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