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indefinite

Syllabification: in·def·i·nite
Pronunciation: /ˌinˈdef(ə)nət
 
/

Definition of indefinite in English:

adjective

1Lasting for an unknown or unstated length of time: they may face indefinite detention
More example sentences
  • Until recently, though, they failed to do so, and Chapters capitalized on this reluctance by deferring payments - to everyone - for an almost indefinite length.
  • In most cases, such detail is stored for indefinite lengths of time.
  • Readers of the Star Tribune will remain in their cloud of unknowing for the indefinite future.
Synonyms
indeterminate, unspecified, unlimited, unrestricted, undecided, undetermined, undefined, unfixed, unsettled, unknown, uncertain;
limitless, infinite, endless, immeasurable
1.1Not clearly expressed or defined; vague: their status remains indefinite
More example sentences
  • Most mainstream politics have capitulated to the normalization of a state of indefinite, vague and continuous low-level war.
  • But should so vague and indefinite a threat to peace be sufficient reason for military intervention?
  • The water is deep here and such a dark blue that the lines of the tiles at the bottom are obscured, indefinite.
Synonyms
1.2 Grammar (Of a word, inflection, or phrase) not determining the person, thing, time, etc., referred to.
Example sentences
  • A sentence stating that something exists, usually consisting of there, the verb be, and an indefinite noun phrase: There's a tavern in the town.
  • On this account, it is the polysemy of the indefinite article that gives rise to the ambiguity of the indefinite noun phrase.
  • While bare plurals are ambiguous between the two readings, indefinite singulars can only refer to a rule or a regulation.

Origin

mid 16th century: from Latin indefinitus, from in- 'not' + definitus 'defined, set within limits' (see definite).

Derivatives

indefiniteness

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Anxiety is endowed with a certain character of indefiniteness and objectlessness; correct usage even changes its name when it has found an object, and in that case speaks instead of fear.
  • What we see, then, is a subtle mix of the fixedness that a posed portrait inevitably generates and a blurred indefiniteness, partly from camera shake and partly from the haze created by bright sunlight or late afternoon shadow.
  • Such matters are embedded in a gray sector of controversy and indefiniteness and are likely to remain so for the next decade, at the very least.

Definition of indefinite in:

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