Definition of indicate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈindəˌkāt/


[with object]
1Point out; show: dotted lines indicate the text’s margins
More example sentences
  • Census figures released Friday indicate Indiana County's population has stayed virtually static at 89,605 residents.
  • Figures indicate the EU expects Ireland to resume its position as the Union's fastest-growing economy.
  • Figures released indicate a 2% increase in unemployment in the south east.
specify, designate, mark, stipulate;
1.1Be a sign or symptom of; strongly imply: sales indicate a growing market for such art [with clause]: his tone indicated that he didn’t hold out much hope
More example sentences
  • Nevertheless, he acknowledged the ‘market rebound’ as indicating a ‘growing’ consumer confidence here.
  • I read the piece twice and tried to see the any sign that indicates such a victory for the insurgents but I failed in both trials.
  • One source close to the meeting said the deal hasn't been signed yet and indicated a few more hurdles had to be overcome before there would be any white smoke.
point to, be a sign of, be evidence of, evidence, demonstrate, show, testify to, bespeak, be a symptom of, be symptomatic of, denote, connote, mark, signal, signify, suggest, imply;
manifest, reveal, betray, display, reflect, represent
formal evince
literary betoken
1.2Admit to or state briefly: the president indicated his willingness to use force against the rebels
More example sentences
  • The background, which I certainly was not aware of, has been indicated to me briefly.
  • She briefly indicates the conflicting written evidence that an historian investigating this incident must consider.
  • In the first two articles in this series I have briefly indicated some of the main currents of Nietzsche's thought.
state, declare, make known, communicate, announce, mention, express, reveal, divulge, disclose;
put it on record;
1.3(Of a person) direct attention to (someone or something) by means of a gesture: he indicated Cindy with a brief nod of the head
More example sentences
  • A good director would have cut some of the annoyingly repetitive and obvious gestures used to indicate character.
  • You make some gestures to indicate you've lost your handle for a moment; you turn away and get your grip.
  • They will signal a passerby in with gestures indicating the offer of a cup of tea or something to eat.
point to, point out, gesture toward
1.4(Of a gauge or meter) register a reading of (a quantity, dimension, etc.).
Example sentences
  • Again the camera meter will indicate a shutter speed and an aperture to give you an 18% grey object.
  • Estimates from tide gauges indicate that sea level has changed at the rate of 1.8 to 2.4 mm/yr over the last century.
  • The junction box has two meters indicating the voltage and load capacity readings.
2Suggest as a desirable or necessary course of action: the treatment is likely to be indicated in severely depressed patients
More example sentences
  • An appropriate physical examination and necessary medically indicated investigation are clearly essential.
  • Insulin therapy also is indicated in patients with contraindications to antidiabetic medications.
  • The other part of the schedule lists immunizations indicated and contraindicated by medical conditions.
advisable, recommended, suggested, desirable, preferable, best, sensible, wise, prudent, in someone's best interests;
necessary, needed, required, called for


Early 17th century: from Latin indicat- 'pointed out', from the verb indicare, from in- 'toward' + dicare 'make known'.

  • index from Late Middle English:

    In Latin index meant ‘forefinger, informer, sign’, Its second part is related to dicare ‘to make known’, also the source of indicate (early 17th century) and related words. The earliest uses in English refer to the finger that we would now usually call the index finger. Because this finger is used for pointing, index came to mean ‘a pointer’, either a physical one or some piece of knowledge that points to a fact or conclusion. And because a list of topics in a book points to their location in the text, publishers and scholars gave such a list the name index in the late 16th century.

Words that rhyme with indicate

syndicate, vindicate

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·di·cate

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