in·​or·​di·​nate | \ in-ˈȯr-də-nət How to pronounce inordinate (audio) , -ˈȯrd-nət \

Definition of inordinate

1 : exceeding reasonable limits : immoderate
2 archaic : disorderly, unregulated

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Other Words from inordinate

inordinately adverb
inordinateness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for inordinate

excessive, immoderate, inordinate, extravagant, exorbitant, extreme mean going beyond a normal limit. excessive implies an amount or degree too great to be reasonable or acceptable. excessive punishment immoderate implies lack of desirable or necessary restraint. immoderate spending inordinate implies an exceeding of the limits dictated by reason or good judgment. inordinate pride extravagant implies an indifference to restraints imposed by truth, prudence, or good taste. extravagant claims for the product exorbitant implies a departure from accepted standards regarding amount or degree. exorbitant prices extreme may imply an approach to the farthest limit possible or conceivable but commonly means only to a notably high degree. extreme shyness

Did You Know?

At one time if something was "inordinate," it did not conform to the expected or desired order of things. That sense, synonymous with "disorderly" or "unregulated," is now archaic, but it offers a hint at the origins of "inordinate." The word traces back to the Latin verb ordinare, meaning "to arrange," combined with the negative prefix in-. "Ordinare" is also the ancestor of such English words as "coordination," "subordinate," "ordination," and "ordain." "Ordinare" did not give us "order," "orderly," or "disorderly," but the root of those words is the same Latin noun ("ordo") from which "ordinare" itself derives.

Examples of inordinate in a Sentence

I waited an inordinate amount of time. They have had an inordinate number of problems with the schedule.
Recent Examples on the Web There is no reason to have an inordinate amount of fear about this situation. CBS News, "Coronavirus cases hit 20,000 as first death reported outside of China," 3 Feb. 2020 Because grants can make or break a career, professors spend an inordinate amount of time navigating the funding labyrinth. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "Why American Scientists Take Chinese Money," 3 Feb. 2020 Twitter, where journalists spend an inordinate (and probably wasteful) amount of time, shredded the apology as misguided. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "tl;dr: boot mugs are back, Lori and Uber are fighting and why oh why did the Bears pick Mitch?," 14 Nov. 2019 Like Warren, Turner displays inordinate poise, immense vocal skill and a stunning sense of her own outsize impact. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "As rock-star portrayals go, it doesn’t get any better than Adrienne Warren as Tina Turner," 8 Nov. 2019 The panic has led to an inordinate focus on the next fake game. Ann Killion,, "Hysteria drills: 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo learning about life in hot seat," 22 Aug. 2019 Such close quarters, meat preparation, and poor hygienic conditions in the markets offer viruses an inordinate number of opportunities to recombine with each other, mutate, and leap to new species, including humans. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Never-before-seen virus may be behind mystery outbreak in China," 8 Jan. 2020 Head coach Molly Goodenbour’s USF teams have absorbed an inordinate number of injuries over the past two seasons. Steve Kroner,, "Dealing with injuries, USF women open WCC play against St. Mary’s," 27 Dec. 2019 After the 49ers’ top three available pass-rushers had played an inordinate amount of snaps in their previous three games, their workload was lightened in Saturday’s 34-31 win over the Rams. Eric Branch,, "49ers finally give Bosa, Armstead, Buckner a break; pass-rusher signed," 23 Dec. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for inordinate

Middle English inordinat, from Latin inordinatus, from in- + ordinatus, past participle of ordinare to arrange — more at ordain

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Time Traveler for inordinate

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inordinate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for inordinate


How to pronounce inordinate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of inordinate

: going beyond what is usual, normal, or proper

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