Indefinite
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.

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  • 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. ...an 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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