in·dis·crim·i·nate | \ ˌin-di-ˈskrim-nət , -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

But Mr Erdogan’s revenge has been indiscriminate and disproportionate. The Economist, "Turkey’s president deserves to lose on June 24th," 21 June 2018 The support has continued despite international alarm over the coalition’s air campaign against the Houthis, which has killed thousands of civilians in airstrikes that human rights groups have alleged are frequently indiscriminate. Washington Post, "Saudi Arabia-led military coalition launches offensive on Yemen port city of Hodeida," 13 June 2018 Residents complained that the coalition bombing was indiscriminate and demanded compensation. Philip Issa,, "Amnesty International says US-led coalition caused many civilian deaths in fight for Raqqa," 6 June 2018 Residents complained that the coalition bombing was indiscriminate and demanded compensation. Philip Issa, Fox News, "Rights group says US-led coalition destroyed Syrian city," 4 June 2018 This duty spared him some of the hard labor and indiscriminate brutality that befell other captives and allowed him to join an underground resistance that secretly assumed leadership roles within the camps, roles that continued after liberation. Emanuella Grinberg, Smithsonian, "When a Bavarian Monastery Provided a Home to Jewish Refugees," 11 July 2018 What might surprise Gold’s admirers, though, is this memoir’s nearly 500 pages of formlessness, its barrage of the indiscriminate and everyday. William Giraldi, The Seattle Times, "Glen David Gold’s new memoir is ‘a soiree of heart-wreck wised up by humor’," 9 July 2018 In all cases, the arrangements followed indiscriminate campaigns by the government against hospitals, markets, and other civilian targets, driving thousands of civilians out of their homes. Washington Post, "Syrian rebels to leave key town in eastern Ghouta enclave," 22 Mar. 2018 Imagine a country that was eviscerated by indiscriminate U.S. bombing campaigns during the Korean War, when more bombs were dropped on North Korea than on all of the Asia-Pacific Theater during World War II. Christine Ahn, Fortune, "Commentary: Here’s What Kim Really Wants Out of His Meeting With Trump," 9 Mar. 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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Last Updated

5 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for indiscriminate

The first known use of indiscriminate was circa 1598

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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 \

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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