in·​def·​i·​nite (ˌ)in-ˈde-fə-nət How to pronounce indefinite (audio)
: not definite: such as
: not precise : vague
: having no exact limits
: typically designating an unidentified, generic, or unfamiliar person or thing
the indefinite articles a and an
indefinite pronouns
indefinite noun
indefinitely adverb
indefiniteness noun

Example Sentences

We're stuck here for an indefinite period of time. Their plans have been put on indefinite hold. She is indefinite about her plans.
Recent Examples on the Web Bloomberg estimates at more than two hundred billion dollars, can afford to run Twitter at a loss for an indefinite period. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 31 Oct. 2022 For most Venezuelans, accessing a passport is difficult, expensive and can require an indefinite waiting period for processing. Santiago Pérez, WSJ, 27 Oct. 2022 To that end, the transfer from Alabama has been suspended from an indefinite period of time. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 15 Aug. 2022 Had the federal government declared a public health emergency, Becerra's department would have gained new powers for an indefinite period. Shira Stein,, 8 July 2022 Without an alternative market lined up, the company faces an indefinite period of limbo on the over-the-counter market, Fortune’s Yvonne Lau reported at the time. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 8 June 2022 Digital currency payments are indefinite, conversion-free and nearly instantaneous when performed between creator and consumer. Michel Kilzi, Forbes, 20 May 2022 Pitcher Jake Odorizzi said an MRI on his left leg showed damage that will sideline him for an indefinite period. Kyle Hightower, Chron, 18 May 2022 Following a state agency’s decision to allow a toll road in Split Oak Forest, the conservation property’s fate now shifts to Osceola County staffers behind closed doors for an indefinite period that offers no window for public involvement. Kevin Spear, Orlando Sentinel, 6 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indefinite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Latin indefinitus, from in- + definitus definite

First Known Use

1530, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of indefinite was in 1530

Dictionary Entries Near indefinite

Cite this Entry

“Indefinite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


in·​def·​i·​nite (ˈ)in-ˈdef-(ə-)nət How to pronounce indefinite (audio)
: not clear or fixed in meaning or details : vague
an indefinite answer
: not certain or limited (as in amount or length)
an indefinite period
: typically designating a person or thing that is unidentified or cannot be immediately identified
the indefinite articles "a" and "an"
indefinite noun
indefinitely adverb
indefiniteness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on indefinite

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