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

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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 In fact, the coronavirus may prove more indiscriminate than that. The Economist, "Exit unicorns, pursued by bears Technology startups are headed for a fall," 4 Apr. 2020 Rather than pass an indiscriminate payroll tax cut that drip-feeds dollars and doesn’t ensure recovery in battered sectors, Congress and the White House should target the... Todd G. Buchholz And Victoria Buchholz, WSJ, "Make America Fun Again: Pass a Summer Stimulus Now," 18 Mar. 2020 In theory, the widespread use of such apps could replace the broad, indiscriminate lockdowns that are laying waste to economies around the world, while still respecting people’s privacy rights. David Meyer, Fortune, "Controversy around privacy splits Europe’s push to build COVID-19 contact-tracing apps," 20 Apr. 2020 Amid the great swath of indiscriminate death, some old American distinctions persist. Zadie Smith, The New Yorker, "The American Exception," 10 Apr. 2020 Creating SDRs would provide indiscriminate, unconditional aid without draining the IMF’S reserves. The Economist, "The financial core Emerging markets are in turmoil. The IMF must step in to help. Here’s how," 8 Apr. 2020 Across geographies, genders, and occupations, the new coronavirus is an indiscriminate infector. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 25 Mar. 2020 In the years following the 2013 revelations of indiscriminate spying by the National Security Agency, these services almost universally adopted the use of HTTPS across all subdomains. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Here’s the Netflix account compromise Bugcrowd doesn’t want you to know about [Updated]," 23 Mar. 2020 The selling has been widespread and, some holders say, indiscriminate. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Cryptocurrency Market Plumbs New Depths in 2018," 14 Aug. 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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Time Traveler for indiscriminate

Time Traveler

The first known use of indiscriminate was circa 1598

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Statistics for indiscriminate

Last Updated

12 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Indiscriminate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for indiscriminate


How to pronounce indiscriminate (audio)

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 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.

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