There are 2 main definitions of indent in English:

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indent1

Line breaks: in¦dent

verb

Pronunciation: /ɪnˈdɛnt
 
/
[with object]
1Start (a line of text) or position (a block of text) further from the margin than the main part of the text: type a paragraph of text and indent the first line
More example sentences
  • It begins with a line containing ‘help’, followed by a number of lines of help text that are indented two spaces from the help line.
  • However, indenting a line with any whitespace means that it continues the data from the previous line.
  • It is traditional to place extra colons at the beginning and end of each field when they are given on separate lines, as in this example, with all continuation lines indented by a tab.
Synonyms
move to the right, move further from the margin, start in from the margin
2Form deep recesses or notches in (a line or surface): a coastline indented by many fjords
More example sentences
  • The Brinell hardness test consists in indenting the metal surface with a 10-mm-diameter steel ball at a load of 3,000 kg mass.
  • To measure the complex microrheology of the cells, beaded probes were used to indent the surface at a specified location on each cell.
  • The Giant's Causeway is off the north coast and Belfast Lough indents the south-east coastline.
Synonyms
notch, nick, make an indentation in, make notches/nicks in, scallop, serrate, pink, cut, scratch, gash, slit, snick, gouge, groove, furrow, dent;
mark, score, incise, carve, engrave, deboss
3 [no object] British Make a requisition or written order for something: we were indenting for paper clips one by one in those days
Synonyms
order, put in an order for, requisition, apply for, put in for, request, put in a request for, ask for, claim, put in a claim for, call for, demand

noun

Pronunciation: /ˈɪndɛnt
 
/
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1British An official order or requisition for goods: Hawthorn refused to approve the indent for silk scarves
More example sentences
  • There was no question of indents or authorities to be consulted before delivering, and the system worked well.
  • The indent, in effect, became a series of indents for planning future movements of trade goods and supplies, and related trading activities.
  • Physical inventories were recorded annually (1 June), and served as the starting point for the indents.
Synonyms
order, requisition, purchase order, request, call, application;
claim, demand, summons
2A space left by indenting text: six-character indents
More example sentences
  • While typing text, this program automatically indents for you.
  • Visually, I want the terms to appear a bit like the headings so I have given them a small, negative text indent and the same color as the headings.
  • Type ‘set shiftwidth = 4’ to make all indentation commands use a four-space indent.
3An indentation: every indent in the coastline
More example sentences
  • The man pointed a mittened hand deeper into the indent in the rock walls.
  • There was a deep indent in the cement, however there was nothing in the hole.
  • With the side of your hand make a deep indent into each ball of dough slightly off centre.
4An indenture.
Example sentences
  • The Commission possesses two kinds of judicial powers, which are based on the first indent to Article 211.
  • The indents which follow include a reference to telecommunication services.
  • They shall take all appropriate measures they deem necessary to prevent any indirect discharge of substances in list I due to activities other than those mentioned in the second indent.

Origin

late Middle English (as a verb in the sense 'give a zigzag outline to, divide by a zigzag line'): from Anglo-Norman French endenter or medieval Latin indentare, from en-, in- 'into' + Latin dens, dent- 'tooth'.

More
  • Although their meanings have in common an idea of a gap or notch, there are two completely unrelated words indent in English. One, meaning ‘to make a dent or impression in’, is formed directly from dent (Middle English) ‘a hollow made by a blow or pressure’, which is a variant form of dint. The other goes back to Latin dens ‘tooth’, the source of dental (late 16th century) and related words. Its first meaning was ‘to give a zigzag outline to’, like a set of sharp teeth. The legal term indenture (Late Middle English), ‘a legal document, contract, or agreement’, is related. Before the days of easy duplication, lawyers would write out the same contract twice on a single piece of parchment or paper. They would then separate the two sections with a serrated or wavy edge and give one to each party. If ever there was a dispute, the fact that the two edges fitted together was proof that they were the same agreement.

Derivatives

indentor

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Vickers indentors are more symmetric and better suited for particle hardness measurements.
  • The Vickers hardness test operates on similar principles, the major difference being the use of a square based pyramidal diamond indentor rather than a hardened steel ball.
  • It is very essential that materials required by these indentors are received by them regularly to avoid any dislocation in their work.

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There are 2 main definitions of indent in English:

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indent2

Line breaks: in¦dent
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈdɛnt
 
/

verb

[with object]
Make a dent or impression in (something): sometimes voting-hole rectangles are merely indented by the voter’s stylus
More example sentences
  • We were engulfed by the sudden darkness, and I leaned out the window to press on a slightly indented part of the wall - a button for the secret underground compartment.
  • I try again, pressing harder, but the back of the knife handle indents my forefinger much more readily than the cutting edge scores the rock.
  • Wake up, get out of bed, remove your butt from that indented sofa cushion and take a long overdue vacation from ‘media land!’

Definition of indent in:

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