in·​dite in-ˈdīt How to pronounce indite (audio)
indited; inditing

transitive verb

: make up, compose
indite a poem
: to give literary or formal expression to
: to put down in writing
indite a message
obsolete : dictate
inditer noun

Did you know?

Indite looks like a misspelling of its homophone indict, meaning "to charge with a crime," and that's no mere coincidence. Although the two verbs are distinct in current use, they are in fact related etymologically. Indite is the older of the two; it has been in the English language since the 1300s. Indict, which came about as an alteration of indite, appeared in the 16th century. Ultimately, both terms come from Latin indicere, meaning "to make known formally" or "to proclaim," which in turn comes from in- plus dīcere, meaning "to talk, speak, or say."

Word History


Middle English enditen, from Anglo-French enditer to write, compose, from Vulgar Latin *indictare, frequentative of Latin indicere to make known formally, proclaim, from in- + dicere to say — more at diction

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of indite was in the 14th century


Dictionary Entries Near indite

Cite this Entry

“Indite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on indite

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!