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

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 as to 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, ordain, ordination, and subordinate. The Latin root is a derivative of the noun ordo, meaning "order" or "arrangement," from which the English 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

Example Sentences

I waited an inordinate amount of time. They have had an inordinate number of problems with the schedule.
Recent Examples on the Web Even by those standards, Pete Buttigieg has spent an inordinate amount of time in the national spotlight delivering the largesse of the big infrastructure and domestic spending bills. Ashraf Khalil, Chicago Tribune, 14 Jan. 2023 Santos has thus far refused to answer where this inordinate amount of money actually came from, especially so quickly. Prem Thakker, The New Republic, 12 Jan. 2023 Avakyan, who seems to face Portland an inordinate amount of the time, has had 3 good games in his last 4. Dylan Bumbarger, oregonlive, 28 Dec. 2022 With the average organization having a backlog of 100,000 vulnerabilities, an inordinate amount of time is spent by security teams on these tasks before the vulnerabilities even reach the fixer’s desk. Yoran Sirkis, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2022 That has resulted in opponents getting an inordinate amount of 3s, although with a long, athletic defender flying at them on a closeout. San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Dec. 2022 The dominant trend in AI is building large-scale systems that require inordinate amounts of data, including personal data on internet users. Nitasha Tiku, Washington Post, 6 Sep. 2022 This mainly manifests itself with the numerous end of mission bosses, with each of them often possessing inordinate amounts of health. Ollie Barder, Forbes, 25 Aug. 2022 These documents show Gendron self-radicalizing when the pandemic began, spending inordinate amounts of time reading hate posts on social media, a senior law enforcement source briefed on the case told ABC News. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 21 May 2022 See More

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.

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 31 Jan. 2023.

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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