in·​dis·​crim·​i·​nate | \ ˌin-di-ˈskrim-nət How to pronounce indiscriminate (audio) , -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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web And in such an indiscriminate sell-off, by default, the most speculative assets suffer the most. Dan Runkevicius, Forbes, 19 May 2022 But Ukrainian and Western officials claim Moscow’s troops are using indiscriminate weapons that are taking a heavy toll on civilians and are making only slow progress. Cara Anna And Inna Varenytsia, Chicago Tribune, 2 May 2022 The greater danger, observers say, is if Russia’s more indiscriminate use of land mines also proves successful in slowing Ukrainian forces and in turn inspires nations seeking to exert dominance over others. Washington Post, 12 Apr. 2022 The bug’s wide-ranging appetite for at least 103 different plants worldwide, according to the latest research, has perhaps contributed to its reputation as an indiscriminate life-drainer. Abigail Gruskin, The Atlantic, 6 Apr. 2022 First, eastern Ukraine has borne the brunt of the indiscriminate destruction that Putin has unleashed. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 4 Apr. 2022 The recent uptick in airstrikes in parts of western Ukraine underscores the need to deter Mr. Putin bringing his indiscriminate bombing campaign to towns and cities on NATO’s periphery. Ludovic Hood, WSJ, 13 Mar. 2022 The indiscriminate bombing of Ukrainian cities, unsurprisingly, achieved the opposite effect. The New Yorker, 12 Mar. 2022 One destroyed a marine military barracks that killed dozens, others were more indiscriminate. New York Times, 5 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of indiscriminate

circa 1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of indiscriminate was circa 1598

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Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Indiscriminate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for indiscriminate


in·​dis·​crim·​i·​nate | \ ˌin-di-ˈskri-mə-nət How to pronounce indiscriminate (audio) \

Kids Definition of indiscriminate

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

More from Merriam-Webster on indiscriminate

Nglish: Translation of indiscriminate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of indiscriminate for Arabic Speakers


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