in·​or·​di·​nate in-ˈȯr-də-nət How to pronounce inordinate (audio)
: exceeding reasonable limits : immoderate
archaic : disorderly, unregulated
inordinately adverb
inordinateness noun

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Although today it describes something that exceeds reasonable limits, inordinate used to be applied to what does not conform to the expected or desired order of things. That sense, synonymous with disorderly and unregulated, is no longer in use, but it offers a hint as to the origins of inordinate. The word traces back to the Latin verb ordinare, meaning “to arrange,” combined with the negating prefix in-. Ordinare is also the ancestor of such English words as coordination, ordain, ordination, and subordinate. The Latin root comes from the noun ordo, meaning “order” or “arrangement,” from which the English word order and its derivatives originate.

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

Examples of inordinate in a Sentence

I waited an inordinate amount of time. They have had an inordinate number of problems with the schedule.
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These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inordinate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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


Dictionary Entries Near inordinate

Cite this Entry

“Inordinate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​or·​di·​nate in-ˈȯrd-ᵊn-ət How to pronounce inordinate (audio)
: going beyond reasonable limits : immoderate
an inordinate curiosity
inordinately adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on inordinate

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