Definition of indefinite article in English:

indefinite article


  • A determiner (a and an in English) that introduces a noun phrase and implies that the thing referred to is non-specific (as in she bought me a book; government is an art; he went to a public school). Typically, the indefinite article is used to introduce new concepts into a discourse.

    Compare with definite article
    • ‘There may be a difference between the definite article and the indefinite article, and there are different views on capital letters, I suppose.’
    • ‘The use of the indefinite article with predicate nouns is to some extent an idiosyncratic feature of English.’
    • ‘It seems to me that the argument requires not only reading ‘or’ in a particular way but substituting the definite article for the indefinite article.’
    • ‘Using the feminine personal pronoun as an indefinite article is as moronic as using the masculine personal pronoun for personification.’
    • ‘For example, Gordon's speech as represented by Odum has some striking aspects that, like the regular omission of definite and indefinite articles, can only be attributed to an unusual idiolect.’


indefinite article