in·​dis·​crim·​i·​nate | \ ˌin-di-ˈskrim-nət How to pronounce indiscriminate (audio) , -ˈskri-mə- \

Definition of indiscriminate

1a : not marked by careful distinction : deficient in discrimination and discernment indiscriminate reading habits indiscriminate mass destruction
b : haphazard, random indiscriminate application of a law
2a : promiscuous, unrestrained indiscriminate sexual behavior
b : heterogeneous, motley an indiscriminate collection

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from indiscriminate

indiscriminately adverb
indiscriminateness noun

Examples of indiscriminate in a Sentence

They participated in the indiscriminate slaughter of countless innocent victims. He objects to the indiscriminate use of pesticides. She has been indiscriminate in choosing her friends.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Throughout the 44-day war, Azerbaijan’s indiscriminate use of cluster munitions, drones, and artillery rockets included phosphorous bombs which scorched forests causing severe burns among soldiers and civilians. Jackie Abramian, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 On Instagram, this means barraging people’s feeds with seemingly indiscriminate content, often accompanied by humorous or confessional commentary. New York Times, 9 Aug. 2021 Moreover, its weapons are inherently indiscriminate: they can’t effectively be directed at military targets. Washington Post, 12 Aug. 2021 Moses decried America's indiscriminate use of force domestically and overseas in the name of freedom and democracy. Peniel E. Joseph, CNN, 28 July 2021 Any public recognition and action taken by a company to alleviate burnout, which is insidious and indiscriminate, should be applauded. Barnaby Lashbrooke, Forbes, 23 June 2021 Israel’s critics cite the death toll as evidence that Israel’s strikes were indiscriminate and disproportionate. New York Times, 26 May 2021 International law prohibits targeting civilians or using indiscriminate force in civilian areas. Joseph Krauss, Star Tribune, 18 May 2021 Taveras went to spring training with a chance to win the leadoff spot, but an indiscriminate approach at the plate quickly ended that experiment. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 3 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indiscriminate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of indiscriminate

circa 1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About indiscriminate

Time Traveler for indiscriminate

Time Traveler

The first known use of indiscriminate was circa 1598

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near indiscriminate




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for indiscriminate

Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Indiscriminate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for indiscriminate



English Language Learners Definition of indiscriminate

: affecting or harming many people or things in a careless or unfair way
: not careful in making choices


in·​dis·​crim·​i·​nate | \ ˌin-di-ˈskri-mə-nət How to pronounce indiscriminate (audio) \

Kids Definition of indiscriminate

: not done in a careful way : wrongly causing widespread harm They objected to the indiscriminate use of pesticides.

More from Merriam-Webster on indiscriminate

Nglish: Translation of indiscriminate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of indiscriminate for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!