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 Syria, Assad’s strategy relied heavily on aerial attacks—using poison gas, indiscriminate shelling, and barrel bombs to terrorize the population, until everyone except the rebels fled. Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, "The Moral Logic of Humanitarian Intervention," 9 Sep. 2019 The desperation has exploded in protests more than once this year, leading to violent crackdowns by security forces in which abuses such as indiscriminate killings and rapes of civilians are alleged. Washington Post, "A look at the shattered Zimbabwe that Mugabe left as leader," 8 Sep. 2019 The desperation has exploded in protests more than once this year, leading to violent crackdowns by security forces in which abuses such as indiscriminate killings and rapes of civilians are alleged to have occurred. Fox News, "Robert Mugabe dead: What happens to polarizing former first lady Grace Mugabe?," 7 Sep. 2019 But a Times review of dozens of episodes involving tear gas show police, at times, have used methods that experts describe as indiscriminate and excessive. Austin Ramzy,, "In Hong Kong, a backlash over 1,800 rounds of tear gas," 24 Aug. 2019 Protest leaders, including the SPA, have rejected talks with military leaders attempting to do damage control in the face of international criticism of Monday's indiscriminate killings. Kareem Khadder And Tara John, CNN, "Sudan opposition group calls for 'civil disobedience' following protest crackdown," 9 June 2019 Opinion against Mr Khalilzad’s deal hardened as indiscriminate bombings in Kabul killed dozens of civilians. The Economist, "America calls off negotiations to end its 18-year war in Afghanistan," 12 Sep. 2019 The international community has frequently accused the Syrian government of indiscriminate bombing in its fight against rebels since the start of the country's civil war. CNN, "Turkey says one of its convoys was hit by an airstrike in Syria," 19 Aug. 2019 The Matterhorn, like all mountains, is indiscriminate. Mark Jenkins, National Geographic, "How the pursuit of one European peak gave rise to modern mountaineering," 1 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for indiscriminate

Last Updated

14 Oct 2019

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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



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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