Definition of indefinite in English:

indefinite

Line breaks: in|def¦in|ite
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈdɛfɪnɪt
 
/

adjective

  • 2Not clearly expressed or defined; vague: an indefinite number of generations
    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
  • 2.1 Grammar (Of a word, inflection, or phrase) not determining the person, thing, time, etc. referred to: in Greek the dual contrasts with the indefinite plural
    More 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.

Derivatives

indefiniteness

noun
More 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.

Origin

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

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