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

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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 This last point is critical because many IT pros are forced to spend an inordinate amount of time on lower-value and, essentially, administrative work. Graig Paglieri, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 Merely keeping flowers alive requires an inordinate amount of attention and care. New York Times, 4 Oct. 2021 The first three games of the season had come with an inordinate amount of attrition. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Oct. 2021 From Gaga’s four outfit changes in 2019 to Rihanna’s inordinate 22kg canary yellow train by Guo Pei in 2015 and Zendaya’s… everything, the event has become the highlight of the fashion calendar and this year, the guests have not disappointed. Pema Bakshi,, 13 Sep. 2021 One is the inordinate influence that the international community has in the minds and imaginations of Afghans in terms of where their country is going. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 17 Aug. 2021 Nakamoto would likely take the tradeoff of the inordinate energy consumption equivalent to 0.22 percent of the world’s population in exchange for the potential liberation of the 53 percent of people controlled by oppressive regimes. Paul H. Jossey, National Review, 27 July 2021 Like most of the country— black residents in Minnesota are disproportionately confronted with police encounters resulting in the inordinate criminalization of black residents. Morgan Simon, Forbes, 16 Apr. 2021 Montgomery County leaders are taking steps to add mental health to the list of valid reasons to be absent from school, saying that the move is especially important after the inordinate toll of the pandemic. Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2021

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

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

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Last Updated

10 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inordinate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for inordinate



English Language Learners Definition of inordinate

: going beyond what is usual, normal, or proper

More from Merriam-Webster on inordinate

Nglish: Translation of inordinate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inordinate for Arabic Speakers


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