Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.


a. Not precisely determined, determinable, or established: a person of indeterminate age.
b. Not precisely fixed, as to extent, size, nature, or number: an indeterminate number of plant species in the jungle.
c. Lacking clarity or precision, as in meaning; vague: an indeterminate turn of phrase.
d. Not fixed or known in advance: an indeterminate future.
e. Not leading up to a definite result or ending: an indeterminate campaign.
2. Botany Not terminating in a flower and continuing to grow at the apex: an indeterminate inflorescence.
3. Mathematics Having more than one variable and an infinite number of solutions, such as the equation 5x2 + 3y = 10.

[Middle English, from Latin indēterminātus : in-, not; see in-1 + dēterminātus, determined; see determinate.]

in′de·ter′mi·nate·ly adv.
in′de·ter′mi·nate·ness, in′de·ter′mi·na′tion (-nā′shən) n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.indetermination - the quality of being vague and poorly defined
uncertainness, uncertainty, precariousness - being unsettled or in doubt or dependent on chance; "the uncertainty of the outcome"; "the precariousness of his income"
inconclusiveness - the quality of being inconclusive


n (= indecisiveness)Entschlusslosigkeit f, → Unschlüssigkeit f, → Unentschiedenheit f
References in periodicals archive ?
And travel narrative, always an elusive goal, becomes a meta-literature that kept slipping through artificial boundaries even before postmodernism injected an agonizing sense of subjective indetermination into the critical process of genre analysis.
Such discrepancies are not due to mistranslation: "In this way we hope to display in the most striking manner the regular, ordered polysemy that has, through skewing, indetermination, or overdetermination, but without mistranslation, permitted the rendering of the same word by 'remedy,' 'recipe,' 'poison,' 'drug,' 'philter,' etc.
Engel, "A Model of Foreign Exchange Rate Indetermination," NBER Working Paper No.
What Bazin means by this "reality" is not the determination of particular things but rather the indetermination and ambiguity which for him characterizes "reality.
Such elements would then exist in a realm " `in between, pure indetermination (or pure determinability) and merely accidental determinability" (21).
Toussaint's own politics of enunciation is to offer up bits of Textual Spaces for ridicule to an agreeable reader; paragraphs finish in aporiae of indetermination.
If anything, their indetermination may indicate the prematurity of anyone's casting definitions too quickly into stone.
As for form, it measures uncertainty in terms of indetermination rather than variation.
Dompe firmly believes in the soundness and fairness of the concepts expressed, however, some of the information is subject to a margin of indetermination, as is the case in the context of research and development and of appropriate inspections by regulatory bodies.
Le dernier extrait souleve un element central : le fait que le rapport psychiatrique est determinant dans l'evaluation de l'inaptitude a consentir aux soins (146), en depit de rindetermination substantielle du concept --ou peut-etre en raison de cette indetermination (147).
The purpose of the fiction is not to intervene directly: it is a cognitive effort by means of which the mind tries to escape from the total indetermination that threatens it.
The people are no longer able to tolerate the indetermination of Albanian parties that distanced themselves from a solution to the name dispute.