Definition of indeterminate in English:

indeterminate

Line breaks: in|de¦ter¦min|ate
Pronunciation: /ˌɪndɪˈtəːmɪnət
 
/

adjective

  • 1Not exactly known, established, or defined: the carpet is an indeterminate dull shade the date of manufacture is indeterminate
    More example sentences
    • Luminous veils of white and yellow arise at the centers of her paintings, evoking indeterminate distance and establishing a mood of poetic reverie.
    • Unfortunately, the imported Italian color has faded to an indeterminate yellow.
    • ‘Well, at least this bit is as it should be,’ Graham said, pointing with a half-eaten croissant at a sour-faced lady of indeterminate years, stomping along the pavement.
    Synonyms
  • 1.1(Of a judicial sentence) not of a fixed length but dependent on the convicted person’s conduct: the abolition of the indeterminate borstal sentence for young offenders
    More example sentences
    • Overall, the Court's conclusions are expressed in terms that indicate no objection under article 3 to a mandatory indeterminate sentence for murder.
    • This is not a review of the position, for example, following an indeterminate sentence which may be imposed at the time of conviction.
    • This indeterminate sentence requires considerations of rehabilitation.
  • 1.2 Mathematics (Of a quantity) having no definite or definable value.
    More example sentences
    • He then continued his studies at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics investigating an indeterminate equation of degree three.
    • Firstly Abu Kamil is the first Arabic mathematician who we know solved indeterminate problems of the type found in Diophantus's work.
    • Samples were interpreted as indeterminate if the OD values were in the range 0.3-0.5 units.
  • 1.3 Medicine (Of a condition) from which a diagnosis of the underlying cause cannot be made: indeterminate colitis
    More example sentences
    • Many centres, however, suggest surgical excision of all indeterminate follicular lesions to make a definitive histological diagnosis.
    • Extrapolating our findings to this high risk population indicates that screening would identify more than 180 million uncalcified, radiologically indeterminate nodules.
    • These can be used to resolve the infection status of individuals with indeterminate serological results.
  • 2 Botany (Of a shoot) not having all the axes terminating in a flower bud and so potentially of indefinite length.
    More example sentences
    • Leaves in vascular plants are produced by determinate growth on the flanks of indeterminate shoot apical meristems.
    • This model is characterized by a single monopodial trunk and plagiotropic, indeterminate branches.
    • The propagules of these predominantly arctic/alpine grasses consist of indeterminate spikelets, which revert to vegetative growth before dehiscing from the parent plant.

Derivatives

indeterminacy

noun
More example sentences
  • They represent past events that can be superimposed over present events to produce duration and enhance indeterminacy for individuals as social beings.
  • Where are the jazz musicians prepared to embrace this ‘double consciousness’ of jazz, to revel in its indeterminacy, yet commit to its particular rigour?
  • I appreciated anew that the road to hell is paved, if not necessarily with good intentions, then with indeterminacy, caution, uncertainty and fear.

indeterminately

adverb
More example sentences
  • The distorted fragments often appear androgynous, but even when gender is evident, it becomes clear that the video treats male and female bodies indeterminately.
  • The unlined, irregularly shaped, indeterminately sized chambers suggest that the new trace was the domicile for an arthropod, perhaps an amphipod-like or an isopod-like crustacean.
  • The consequence of this legislation is that people who may well not commit a further crime can be detained indeterminately, in effect, for the rest of their lives.

indeterminateness

noun
More example sentences
  • Its grandeur fabricates a challenge to the indeterminateness of fate, even more so its finality, by preserving love and hope as viable antidotes to inevitable ends.
  • Pure being, he says, is pure indeterminateness and vacuity.
  • Uncertainty and indeterminateness are main properties of natural language.

Origin

early 17th century: from late Latin indeterminatus, from in- 'not' + Latin determinatus 'limited, determined' (see determinate).

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