in·​dis·​tinct | \ ˌin-di-ˈstiŋ(k)t How to pronounce indistinct (audio) \

Definition of indistinct

: not distinct: such as
a : not sharply outlined or separable : blurred indistinct figures in the fog
b : faint, dim an indistinct light in the distance
c : not clearly recognizable or understandable : uncertain

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Other Words from indistinct

indistinctly \ ˌin-​di-​ˈstiŋ(k)t-​lē How to pronounce indistinct (audio) , -​ˈstiŋ-​klē \ adverb
indistinctness \ ˌin-​di-​ˈstiŋ(k)t-​nəs How to pronounce indistinct (audio) , -​ˈstiŋk-​nəs \ noun

Examples of indistinct in a Sentence

indistinct figures in the fog managed to discern a blurry, indistinct shadow through the downpour
Recent Examples on the Web The inevitability of distraction and the indistinct boundary between work and personal life were already pressing issues before the pandemic. Hari Kunzru, Harper's Magazine, "You Must Change Your Life," 27 Apr. 2021 As the Portuguese novelist José Saramago does, Galgut outsources his storytelling, handing off a phrase or an insight to an indistinct community of what seem to be wise elders, who then produce an ironically platitudinous or proverbial commentary. James Wood, The New Yorker, "A Family at Odds Reveals a Nation in the Throes," 12 Apr. 2021 The gender-fluid Izzard, a singularly talented and versatile performer, in this role is indistinct. Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Eddie Izzard stars in the perfunctory spy thriller ‘Six Minutes to Midnight’," 24 Mar. 2021 Around the mirror, indistinct shadows play across the wall through a sickly yellow-green miasmic atmosphere, furthering a sense of uncertainty. Benjamin Lima, Dallas News, "And Now gallery features a talented crop of young artists," 22 Mar. 2021 But on Wall Street and in Washington, attention is shifting to an intriguing if indistinct prospect: a post-Covid boom. New York Times, "On the Post-Pandemic Horizon, Could That Be … a Boom?," 21 Feb. 2021 The twins’ words are drawn out into indistinct cries for a relationship that has forked with time. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 25 Best LGBTQ Songs of 2020: Staff Picks," 10 Dec. 2020 There was a snapshot of the boy, his face indistinct in the engraving dots, a blond eighteen-year-old sitting on a rock and smiling. Joan Didion, Harper's Magazine, "Fathers, Sons, Screaming Eagles," 24 Nov. 2020 Yet as Tenold points out, violence between the combatants is now so routine that the shooting and deaths are becoming an indistinct, but disturbing backdrop for ordinary politics. Bryan Denson, ProPublica, "When the Political Divide Turned Deadly in Portland," 5 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indistinct.' 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 indistinct

1526, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for indistinct

Latin indistinctus, from in- + distinctus distinct

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Time Traveler for indistinct

Time Traveler

The first known use of indistinct was in 1526

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Statistics for indistinct

Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Indistinct.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for indistinct



English Language Learners Definition of indistinct

: not easily seen, heard, or recognized : not distinct or clear


in·​dis·​tinct | \ ˌin-di-ˈstiŋt How to pronounce indistinct (audio) \

Kids Definition of indistinct

: not easily seen, heard, or recognized indistinct voices

Other Words from indistinct

indistinctly adverb

Comments on indistinct

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