Definition of nondescript
nondescript was our Word of the Day on 03/11/2012. Hear the podcast!
Examples of nondescript in a Sentence
I work in one of the nondescript office buildings downtown.
Their performance was disappointingly nondescript.
Recent Examples of nondescript from the Web
The twists of history also run through this nondescript pocket of the city.
GE on Thursday publicly unveiled the new facility, known as the Global Performance Optimization Center, which is located in an otherwise nondescript office building near Interstate 35W and Heritage Trace Parkway.
In a nondescript office building on an old Naval Air Station, a team of NASA researchers is building a fleet of weird and wonderful robots that may one day go where no human — or other robot — has ever gone before.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nondescript'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
How Nondescript Was Formed
It is relatively easy to describe the origins of "nondescript" (and there's a hint in the first part of this sentence). "Nondescript" was formed by combining the prefix non- (meaning "not") with the past participle of the Latin verb describere, meaning "to describe." It is no surprise, then, that when the word was adopted in the late 17th century by English speakers, it was typically applied to something (such as a genus or species) that had not yet been described. Other descriptive descendants of "describere" in English include "describe," "description," and "descriptive" itself, as well as the rare philosophical term "descriptum" ("something that is described").
Origin and Etymology of nondescript
non- + Latin descriptus, past participle of describere to describe
First Known Use: 1789See Words from the same year
NONDESCRIPT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of nondescript for English Language Learners
: not easily described : having no special or interesting qualities, parts, etc. : typical and uninteresting
NONDESCRIPT Defined for Kids
Definition of nondescript for Students
: having no special or interesting characteristics : not easily described a nondescript building
Seen and Heard
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