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

The recession was indiscriminate in taking out wealth across the country, but that wealth hasn't grown back at the same rate. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "The economic expansion just hit a record for the longest ever," 1 July 2019 Fujimori mostly reined in the indiscriminate massacre of peasants. Rachel Nolan, Harper's magazine, "A Jagged Scrap of History," 24 June 2019 Such voyages often brim with the promise of indiscriminate beer and exhilarated 5 a.m. exits from dance warehouses, but in this case, not so. Chuck Culpepper,, "Brooks Koepka never got lost on his long winding road to the top of the golf world," 10 June 2019 McAleenan has warned that an indiscriminate operation to arrest migrants in their homes and at work sites risks separating children from their parents in cases where the children are at day care, summer camp or friend’s houses. San Diego Union-Tribune, "ICE raids targeting migrant families slated to start Sunday in major U.S. cities," 21 June 2019 The shootout is bloody, bizarre and indiscriminate. J.b., The Economist, "Why “The Wild Bunch” ranks among the most influential Westerns," 18 June 2019 But offshore, this is unlikely to travel much beyond French Film Week-type festivals and indiscriminate VOD outlets. Boyd Van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Specials' ('Hors normes'): Film Review | Cannes 2019," 7 June 2019 Over-interest in a colleague’s travel details aside, Renee shouldn’t have been blabbing about someone else’s vacation to an indiscriminate group of co-workers in the first place. New York Times, "Your Job Is More Intense. Your Pay and Title Haven’t Kept Up.," 25 May 2018 However, when indiscriminate fishing gear is used, they get scooped up in the nets along with everything else. Sarah Lazarus, CNN, "Used as a natural Viagra in Chinese medicine, seahorse numbers are declining," 6 June 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

8 Jul 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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