in·​dite | \in-ˈdīt \
indited; inditing

Definition of indite 

transitive verb

1a : make up, compose indite a poem

b : to give literary or formal expression to

c : to put down in writing indite a message

2 obsolete : dictate

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from indite

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 language since the 1300s. "Indict," which came about as an alteration of "indite," first appeared in English legal use around 1600. Ultimately, both terms come from the Latin indicere, meaning "to make known formally" or "to proclaim," which in turn comes from "in-" plus dicere, meaning "to say."

First Known Use of indite

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

History and Etymology for indite

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about indite

Listen to Our Podcast about indite

Statistics for indite

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for indite

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

See more words from the same century

More from Merriam-Webster on indite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with indite

Comments on indite

What made you want to look up indite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a knickknack or trinket

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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