Indefinite article
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 article — indefinite articles N COUNT The words a and an are sometimes called the indefinite article …   English dictionary

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  • indefinite article — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms indefinite article : singular indefinite article plural indefinite articles linguistics the word a or an in the English language, or a word in another language that is used in a similar way See: definite… …   English dictionary

  • indefinite article — noun a determiner (as a or some in English) that indicates nonspecific reference • Hypernyms: ↑article * * * noun, pl ⋯ cles [count] : the word a or an used in English to refer to a person or thing that is not identified or specified In “I gave a …   Useful english dictionary

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  • indefinite article — in.definite article n technical the word a or an →↑definite article …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • indefinite article — in,definite article noun count LINGUISTICS the word a or an in the English language, or a word in another language that is used in a similar way ─ compare DEFINITE ARTICLE …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • indefinite article — noun (C) the word a or an in the English language or a word in another language that is used like a or an compare definite article, see also: article (4) …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • indefinite article — Gram. an article, as English a, an, that denotes class membership of the noun it modifies without particularizing it. [1720 30] * * * …   Universalium

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