indiscriminate

adjective
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 situation there is desperate after a three-year Houthi siege, replete with artillery bombardments on civilian centers, indiscriminate sniper fire, and planting of land mines. Mohammed Al-jaber, WSJ, "The Saudis Want Peace in Yemen," 23 Dec. 2018 Residents in Douma, the largest town in eastern Ghouta, also reported indiscriminate shelling and airstrikes. Philip Issa, chicagotribune.com, "Rocket attack on Damascus kills 35 people," 20 Mar. 2018 But with the indiscriminate use of pesticides came a spike in cancer rates in industrial farming areas. Annie Gowen, Washington Post, "Pesticides helped bring modern farming to India. One tiny state is leading the charge to ban them.," 31 May 2018 Human rights groups identified 121 people killed and accused Israel of committing war crimes by allegedly using disproportionate or indiscriminate force and failing to distinguish between civilians and combatants. Josef Federman, Fox News, "Israel: No criminal action in deadly Gaza 2014 war incident," 15 Aug. 2018 The housing market boomed in the early 2000s amid low interest rates and a deregulatory environment that led to indiscriminate — and often predatory — lending to subprime borrowers with low credit scores and questionable abilities to repay. Jim Puzzanghera, The Seattle Times, "A decade after the financial crisis, many Americans are still struggling to recover," 10 Sep. 2018 Mexico has been accused of indiscriminate long-term detention of asylum seekers (exacerbated by a two-year backlog in processing applications), and some parts of Mexico aren’t safe for people who are already fleeing violence. Dara Lind, Vox, "The migrant caravan, explained," 24 Oct. 2018 Beijing’s concerns about high corporate debt levels and capital outflows mean indiscriminate empire-building is now a taboo. Andrew Peaple, WSJ, "HNA’s Grounded—and So Is Chinese M&A," 7 Sep. 2018 Intense urban warfare, as demonstrated by the recent battles for Aleppo and Mosul, remains grinding and indiscriminate, and will continue to present difficult problems for well-meaning Western intervention forces. The Economist, "The future of war," 25 Jan. 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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Statistics for indiscriminate

Last Updated

1 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for indiscriminate

The first known use of indiscriminate was circa 1598

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More Definitions for indiscriminate

indiscriminate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of indiscriminate

disapproving
: affecting or harming many people or things in a careless or unfair way
: not careful in making choices

indiscriminate

adjective
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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