nondescript

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adjective non·de·script \ˌnän-di-ˈskript\

Definition of nondescript

  1. 1 :  belonging or appearing to belong to no particular class or kind :  not easily described … a nondescript mixture of styles in the worst possible taste. — George Bernard Shaw

  2. 2 :  lacking distinctive or interesting qualities :  dull, drab Their performance was diasppointingly nondescript.

nondescript

noun

nondescript was our Word of the Day on 03/11/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of nondescript in a Sentence

  1. I work in one of the nondescript office buildings downtown.

  2. Their performance was disappointingly nondescript.

Recent Examples of nondescript from the Web

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


NONDESCRIPT Defined for English Language Learners

nondescript

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adjective

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

nondescript

play
adjective non·de·script \ˌnän-di-ˈskript\

Definition of nondescript for Students

  1. :  having no special or interesting characteristics :  not easily described a nondescript building



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