Indefinite In*def"i*nite, a. [L. indefinitus. See {In-} not, and {Definite}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Not definite; not limited, defined, or specified; not explicit; not determined or fixed upon; not precise; uncertain; vague; confused; obscure; as, an indefinite time, plan, etc. [1913 Webster]

It were to be wished that . . . men would leave off that indefinite way of vouching, ``the chymists say this,'' or ``the chymists affirm that.'' --Boyle. [1913 Webster]

The time of this last is left indefinite. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

2. Having no determined or certain limits; large and unmeasured, though not infinite; unlimited; as, indefinite space; the indefinite extension of a straight line. [1913 Webster]

Though it is not infinite, it may be indefinite; though it is not boundless in itself, it may be so to human comprehension. --Spectator. [1913 Webster]

3. Boundless; infinite. [R.] [1913 Webster]

Indefinite and omnipresent God, Inhabiting eternity. --W. Thompson (1745). [1913 Webster]

4. (Bot.) Too numerous or variable to make a particular enumeration important; -- said of the parts of a flower, and the like. Also, indeterminate. [1913 Webster]

{Indefinite article} (Gram.), the word a or an, used with nouns to denote any one of a common or general class.

{Indefinite inflorescence}. (Bot.) See {Indeterminate inflorescence}, under {Indeterminate}.

{Indefinite proposition} (Logic), a statement whose subject is a common term, with nothing to indicate distribution or nondistribution; as, Man is mortal.

{Indefinite term} (Logic), a negative term; as, the not-good.

Syn: Inexplicit; vague; uncertain; unsettled; indeterminate; loose; equivocal; inexact; approximate. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • indefinite — I adjective alterable, ambiguous, ambiguus, amorphic, amorphous, barely seen, blurred, blurry, boundless, broad, changeable, cloudy, controvertible, cryptic, debatable, dim, doubtful, dubious, dubius, enigmatic, enigmatical, equivocal, evasive,… …   Law dictionary

  • indefinite — [in def′ə nit] adj. [L indefinitus] not definite; specif., a) having no exact limits or having no limits at all b) not precise or clear in meaning; vague c) not sharp or clear in outline; blurred; indistinct d) not sure or positive; uncertain e)… …   English World dictionary

  • indéfinité — [ɛ̃definite] n. f. ÉTYM. 1823; de indéfini. ❖ ♦ Didact. Caractère de ce qui est indéfini. ⇒ Indéfinitude. || L indéfinité de la représentation (T. L. F.) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • indefinite — (adj.) early 15c. (implied in indefinitely), from L. indefinitus, from in not, opposite of, without (see IN (Cf. in ) (1)) + definitus, pp. of definire (see DEFINE (Cf. define)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • indefinite — [adj] ambiguous, vague broad, confused, doubtful, dubious, equivocal, evasive, general, ill defined, imprecise, indeterminable, indeterminate, indistinct, inexact, inexhaustible, infinite, innumerable, intangible, loose, obscure, shadowy,… …   New thesaurus

  • indefinite — ► ADJECTIVE 1) not clearly expressed or defined; vague. 2) lasting for an unknown or unstated length of time. 3) Grammar (of a word, inflection, or phrase) not determining the person or thing referred to. DERIVATIVES indefinitely adverb… …   English terms dictionary

  • indefinite — [[t]ɪnde̱fɪnɪt[/t]] 1) ADJ: usu ADJ n If you describe a situation or period as indefinite, you mean that people have not decided when it will end. The trial was adjourned for an indefinite period. indefinite strike by government workers. 2) …   English dictionary

  • Indefinite — The word indefinite has these meanings: *In mathematics: **When talking about positive or negative indefinite forms in multilinear algebra, see definite bilinear form. ** indefinite is sometimes used to describe the result of trying to divide 0… …   Wikipedia

  • indefinite — indefinitely, adv. indefiniteness, n. /in def euh nit/, adj. 1. not definite; without fixed or specified limit; unlimited: an indefinite number. 2. not clearly defined or determined; not precise or exact: an indefinite boundary; an indefinite… …   Universalium

  • indefinite — in|def|i|nite [ınˈdefənıt] adj 1.) an indefinite action or period of time has no definite end arranged for it ▪ The next day the union voted to begin an indefinite strike. ▪ The picture has been loaned for an indefinite period to the National… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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