In*def"i*nite (?), a. [L. indefinitus. See In- not, and Definite.]

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.

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.

The time of this last is left indefinite. Dryden.

2.

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

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

3.

Boundless; infinite.

[R.]

Indefinite and omnipresent God, Inhabiting eternity. W. Thompson (1745).

4. Bot.

Too numerous or variable to make a particular enumeration important; -- said of the parts of a flower, and the like. Also, indeterminate.

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.

 

© Webster 1913.

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