Main definitions of indent in English

: indent1indent2

indent1

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Start (a line of text) or position (a block of text) further from the margin than the main part of the text:

    ‘type a paragraph of text and indent the first line’
    • ‘However, indenting a line with any whitespace means that it continues the data from the previous line.’
    • ‘It is traditional to place extra colons at the beginning and end of each field when they are given on separate lines, as in this example, with all continuation lines indented by a tab.’
    • ‘It absolutely astonishes me that the ‘Tab’ key will not indent a line in any website builder currently used by members of the group.’
    • ‘The interface allows you to use either tabs or spaces to indent lines.’
    • ‘I can adjust font, text justification, add bulleted or numbered lists, indent, use blockquotes and insert links and images without ever needing to resort to code.’
    • ‘For reference and further processing, the pedigree data can also be saved in a simple text file, using tab indents to indicate ancestral levels.’
    • ‘These programs aid in the alphabetizing of entries and subentries, creation of cross-references, indenting of subentries, formatting, and other index editing tasks.’
    • ‘Similarly, submailboxes appear as sent, drafts and so on, indented beneath Inbox.’
    • ‘Her lines are generally short and staggered - unevenly indented - conveying (perhaps misleadingly) speed in composition even as the poems unfold to four, five, six pages.’
    • ‘You then can remove tabs if you want by the above-mentioned method: gq is the command sequence for indenting comments.’
    • ‘When a chart is made to show the topical structure of a text, the progressive indenting represents topical depth.’
    • ‘A mini-argument revolved round this, but to no point since the text is not so indented in the Official Journal version.’
    • ‘Below I first restate their argument point by point, which is indented, and then offer my refutation of each point.’
    • ‘It begins with a line containing ‘help’, followed by a number of lines of help text that are indented two spaces from the help line.’
    • ‘Chapter 14 covers lists, and Chapter 15 explains how to align and indent text.’
    • ‘I always have preferred to see such discussions in nested format, meaning that responses always are visible, indented somewhat from their parent.’
    • ‘Dialogue appears in a column down the centre of the page indented from the business.’
    • ‘All the lines are automatically indented for you.’
    • ‘I'm still learning the intricacies of blogging and HTML formatting, especially indenting.’
    • ‘It would be nice to have the program all properly indented, so we use Emacs' indentation tools.’
    move to the right, move further from the margin, start in from the margin
    View synonyms
  • 2Form deep recesses or notches in (a line or surface):

    ‘a coastline indented by many fjords’
    • ‘The Giant's Causeway is off the north coast and Belfast Lough indents the south-east coastline.’
    • ‘The Brinell hardness test consists in indenting the metal surface with a 10-mm-diameter steel ball at a load of 3,000 kg mass.’
    • ‘James Cook, on his last voyage around the world, followed numerous fjords into the deeply indented Alaskan coast, meeting nothing but frustration.’
    • ‘Because the coastline of the area is indented, as wheat-growing expanded northwards the farms were still close to the sea and hence transport costs were low.’
    • ‘The ground was shaped into low mounds and swells, edged on one side by the ribbon of Highway 1 and indented on the other by ocean forces seeking weak points in the rock.’
    • ‘He was able to show that as a bubble collapsed one side of the sphere would suddenly indent forming a pointed jet which penetrated the other side of the bubble at high speed.’
    • ‘Its shape was unusual… about 2cm long, oval, rounded one side, indented on the other - shaped rather like a coffee bean.’
    • ‘Denny pointed to the coastline, indented all along its length with big and little coves.’
    • ‘To measure the complex microrheology of the cells, beaded probes were used to indent the surface at a specified location on each cell.’
    notch, nick, make an indentation in, make nicks in, make notches in, scallop, serrate, pink, cut, scratch, gash, slit, snick, gouge, groove, furrow, dent
    View synonyms
  • 3British [no object] Make a requisition or written order for something:

    ‘we were indenting for paper clips one by one in those days’
    order, put in an order for, requisition, apply for, put in for, request, put in a request for, ask for, claim, put in a claim for, call for, demand
    View synonyms
  • 4historical Divide (a document drawn up in duplicate) into its two copies with a zigzag line, thus ensuring identification and preventing forgery.

    1. 4.1 Draw up (a legal document) in exact duplicate.

noun

  • 1British An official order or requisition for goods:

    ‘Hawthorn refused to approve the indent for silk scarves’
    • ‘Alphabetical arrangement of trade goods and supplies was also demanded by the committee during this time to ease the preparation and review of indents.’
    • ‘There was no question of indents or authorities to be consulted before delivering, and the system worked well.’
    • ‘The indent, in effect, became a series of indents for planning future movements of trade goods and supplies, and related trading activities.’
    • ‘Physical inventories were recorded annually (1 June), and served as the starting point for the indents.’
    • ‘They were used with the inventory records so that the existence of inventories could be carefully considered when preparing the multitude of indents.’
    order, requisition, purchase order, request, call, application
    claim, demand, summons
    View synonyms
  • 2A space left by indenting text:

    ‘six-character indents’
    • ‘But when it's converted to HTML, that little indent is suddenly this huge gap, and that does look confusing.’
    • ‘While typing text, this program automatically indents for you.’
    • ‘On second thought, I carefully ripped out the very last page that had no indents in it and hastily scribbled what I'd first intended as a note, but ended up as a letter.’
    • ‘This is another reason why deeper indents are required.’
    • ‘Speech designations are given as the actors' names on separate lines, with a generous indent.’
    • ‘Type ‘set shiftwidth = 4’ to make all indentation commands use a four-space indent.’
    • ‘The agenda of Part II is a rethink of everything you ever learned about proper citation of code and markup: commenting, indents, whitespace.’
    • ‘Visually, I want the terms to appear a bit like the headings so I have given them a small, negative text indent and the same color as the headings.’
    • ‘Lesson 4 explains drop caps, hanging indents, and how to set tab stops.’
  • 3An indentation:

    ‘every indent in the coastline’
    • ‘She sat down on the swing, and watched her sneakers make indents in the sand.’
    • ‘The fact of whether they had square shaped indents in them or not made no difference to the way that the food tasted.’
    • ‘There was an indent where the ring was supposed to be.’
    • ‘The walls were literally covered in indents, thousands at least, all piled upon each other like some grand grid.’
    • ‘There wasn't a limb or surface of her skin that didn't lay out a pathway of scars and indents with bruises both fresh and old and grazes that just never seemed to heal.’
    • ‘He dug the blade deep into the shallow indent that had been made and flung the dirt into a pile to his left.’
    • ‘Pax moved over to the rock wall and began to run his hand over the crevices and indents in the rock.’
    • ‘Her heels had made indents in the solid pavement.’
    • ‘She kneeled here, where the indent is deeper, next to where the Englishman lay.’
    • ‘I left a little indent in the wall eight years ago and I left another one eight years later.’
    • ‘Just the barest of indents from bare feet, the tracks had been impossible to follow far by the time she discovered them.’
    • ‘When the tide is out at Strandhill one can see clearly the indents and hollows in the sand, reminding us that extreme care needs to be taken when swimming there.’
    • ‘There are keys on a table which, judging by the indents in the dust, have been used a few times.’
    • ‘The man pointed a mittened hand deeper into the indent in the rock walls.’
    • ‘With the side of your hand make a deep indent into each ball of dough slightly off centre.’
    • ‘He stood in what seemed to be an indent in the cliff wall on the far right.’
    • ‘Maryne then realized that the man's steps were light and made no noise as they barely made an indent on the sand.’
    • ‘The pillar appeared to be miles wide, and as she peered at it she could see small indents - handholds.’
    • ‘There was a deep indent in the cement, however there was nothing in the hole.’
  • 4An indenture.

    • ‘For the purpose of applying the content of the fifth indent of the first sub-paragraph, Member States may lay down guide levels, solely as a form of evidence.’
    • ‘They shall take all appropriate measures they deem necessary to prevent any indirect discharge of substances in list I due to activities other than those mentioned in the second indent.’
    • ‘Article 3 is divided into four paragraphs, or indents, and is in these terms.’
    • ‘The Commission possesses two kinds of judicial powers, which are based on the first indent to Article 211.’
    • ‘The indents which follow include a reference to telecommunication services.’
    • ‘The question is whether the organisation is managed and administered in achieving those objects in a way that falls within or without the second indent.’
    • ‘Its role is defined by the first indent of Article 4 TEU: it shall provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development and shall define the general political guidelines thereof.’

Origin

Late Middle English (as a verb in the sense ‘give a zigzag outline to, divide by a zigzag line’): from Anglo-Norman French endenter or medieval Latin indentare, from en-, in- into + Latin dens, dent- tooth.

Pronunciation:

indent

/ɪnˈdɛnt/

Main definitions of indent in English

: indent1indent2

indent2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Make a dent or impression in (something):

    ‘sometimes voting-hole rectangles are merely indented by the voter's stylus’
    • ‘Lorna's pillow was still indented where her head had been, and he pressed the side of his face against it, breathing in the smell of her hair.’
    • ‘She was wearing trainers but didn't realise her body weight would indent it.’
    • ‘It was then that Phil noticed the single wavy line indented in the middle of Kithaeme's forehead.’
    • ‘We were engulfed by the sudden darkness, and I leaned out the window to press on a slightly indented part of the wall - a button for the secret underground compartment.’
    • ‘When the stairs were replaced with new timber, the family could see marks from the hobnail boots of the soldiers indented in the wood.’
    • ‘It is exactly comparable to the way the surface of a ping-pong or tennis ball can be indented.’
    • ‘This was achieved in two ways - by pricking the paper or by indenting it with a stylus.’
    • ‘The second ring is considerably smaller and has an emerald colour stone indented in the middle.’
    • ‘Beneath the windows, Gladstone spots another footprint, this one deeply indented in the soft soil.’
    • ‘Put remaining flour into a large bowl, indenting the center of it to make a well.’
    • ‘A look of confusion was indented on my face, I as sure of it.’
    • ‘I try again, pressing harder, but the back of the knife handle indents my forefinger much more readily than the cutting edge scores the rock.’
    • ‘The metal figurines that emerge from the mould are rough, indented with the texture of the clay.’
    • ‘A ring on the middle finger of her right hand was indented into the skull.’
    • ‘Picking it up, she reads where a page is indented.’
    • ‘Wake up, get out of bed, remove your butt from that indented sofa cushion and take a long overdue vacation from ‘media land!’’

Pronunciation:

indent

/ɪnˈdɛnt/