Definition of indie in English:



  • 1(of a pop group, record label, or film company) not belonging or affiliated to a major record or film company.

    • ‘Of these 21 songs, seven come from indie labels, 14 from majors.’
    • ‘Consumers are fed up with the major-label side of the industry, and many bands have felt let down by the indie labels.’
    • ‘It was a patchy but hard rocking lo-budget affair released on tiny indie label Trinity.’
    • ‘Actually, if the indie labels had politics they were at base neither socialist nor conservative but autonomist.’
    • ‘Borrowing from all sorts of hip indie groups, it featured 14 musicians, eight of whom had songwriting credits.’
    • ‘It sounds surprisingly like a power-pop act putting out a single on an indie record label.’
    • ‘Perhaps all of the indie labels will go under (including my own), and I'll be eating these words in a year.’
    • ‘She had one radio hit on an indie label, but the big ones never got her.’
    • ‘Have you dealt with your issues relating to the short lifespan of indie labels?’
    • ‘The fact that we've been invited to play France and Sweden within a year of releasing our first album on a tiny indie label bodes well.’
    • ‘Are they a natural conclusion to what the girl-led indie groups of the mid 90's didn't finish?’
    • ‘It's hard, it's really not a very good time for indie labels.’
    • ‘I think we're just more anti-corporate, because there are a lot of indie labels that act the same way as the majors.’
    • ‘My experience with indie labels was generally that they were just as exploitative as the major labels - they just had a lot less money.’
    • ‘They started on small indie labels and made the jump to a major label.’
    • ‘The band moves along in great fashion, quoting some of the better indie groups with the clicking drums and wiggling guitars.’
    • ‘One does not normally think of labels milking the minor successes of lo-fi indie groups, but apparently it happens.’
    • ‘This is a pretty cool garage punk band on yet another fine underground indie label.’
    • ‘We recorded a demo CD early this year and sent it off to various labels but these days it is really difficult getting a deal as a lot of indie labels aren't interested in doing singles.’
    • ‘I think with a lot of indie groups, a steady release of projects and albums is what you have to do in order to sustain your audience, and I definitely agree with that.’
    1. 1.1Characteristic of the deliberately unpolished or uncommercialized style of small independent pop groups.
      • ‘Their image is definitely at odds with a music scene pre-occupied with gravity defying hair styles and pre-requisitioned indie uniforms.’
      • ‘This style of indie pop often takes the latter route, making it easy to overlook but that much more seductive.’
      • ‘In the new age of indie vogue, film festivals - once rare and vital vehicles for showcasing independents - are now a dime a dozen.’
      • ‘It's about instant access to Hollywood classics, new releases, indie fare and grassroots films, at any time, on any device.’
      • ‘It starts in a traditional indie style, building to a climax before breaking into an incredible disco stomp.’
      • ‘The boy had messy and wild blonde hair that was styled in an indie rock style, cut nicely and kept a bit longer.’
      • ‘It's just another part of what the man does so brilliantly in this film - he has smuggled an almost indie aesthetic into a film that, to me, seems very commercial.’
      • ‘The play their own unique style of melodic lo-fi indie rock, with flowing guitar lines, soft vocals and fat drums and bass.’
      • ‘You can tell that he's quite deliberately outgrown his indie audience now because you actually enjoy hearing him sing.’
      • ‘Their success has done nothing to influence their magical indie style of movie-making.’


  • 1A small independent pop group, record label, or film company.

    • ‘You'll find everything from rock and indie to emo and hip hop, and entry is £2 before 11 pm and £3 after.’
    • ‘It's ploddy, 4/4 guitar driven indie that clutches on the coat tails of just about every band that came out of England in the 90's.’
    • ‘In the UK alone, indies together account for a quarter of record sales.’
    • ‘He brought with him enough songs to kick all three new stores off with 700,000 songs from all five major labels and ‘dozens’ of indies.’
    • ‘After the big sellers - the Christmas albums - are done for the season, the record stores stock the indies again, so now we're seeing a big difference.’
    • ‘Also - and this is important - by raising overhead costs (publicity, cross promotion, etc.), the music industry makes it more difficult for indies to enter the market.’
    • ‘Some people might see the move from a major back to an indie as a step in the wrong direction, even if it is your own label.’
    • ‘Top acts from across the music spectrum were there - reggae, indie, hip-hop, punk, bhangra and garage - performing to massive racially mixed crowds.’
    • ‘They let us operate the same way we operated on our indie.’
    • ‘Well, we were only on an indie for three months and when we signed to a major, our album didn't come out for a year and a half after that.’
    • ‘Possessing licensing deals with the major labels and indies has become an important selling point to attract consumers away from the free file-trading sites.’
    • ‘The indies continue to thrive against the odds and, more importantly, they have the vision, the music and the passion to make you a believer in the future of our business.’
    • ‘It's a move the band was practically forced to pursue after none of the Canadian indies the band shopped their demo to were responsive.’
    • ‘There are hints of grunge, supercharged indie, but plenty of searching, epic moments too.’
    • ‘That still leaves three other major labels and countless indies around the world still to go.’
    • ‘There's a complexity to it all, mixing indie with harder rock.’
    • ‘Their inside knowledge gives their boutique roots/country label a leg up on a lot of other indies; when they need to, they can play the majors' game.’
    • ‘Napster Canada has licences from the big five labels as well as indies.’
    • ‘It's refreshing to see that even the smaller indies are able to contribute to large-minded charitable ventures.’
    • ‘I guess that in the argument between the indies and the majors, the majors are after a quick buck.’
    1. 1.1[mass noun]Indie music regarded as a genre.
      • ‘His definition refers to extant companies, implying the book is mainly about modern indies.’
      • ‘But for the indies, an Oscar nomination is a big win.’
      • ‘And while occasional events can happen for the other true indies, the disparity between the haves and the have-nots is getting greater.’
      • ‘The other foreign-finance indies are playing it much closer to the vest.’
      • ‘I'm just as disenchanted with American indies as studio films.’
      • ‘The indies have seen their cost of business rise beyond reason as well.’
      • ‘Of course, a indie / dependent studio is, in many ways, a collective licensing scheme.’
      • ‘Do indies have a real voice at the Academy, assuming that we don't count Miramax as an indie?’
      • ‘Even beyond indies vs. studio films, there became a schism at the studios.’
      • ‘There are, in fact, a great many indies dressed in studio clothing, trying desperately to imitate their conventional brethren in the hopes of national distribution.’
      • ‘You want to know why the truly independent minded indies remain indie?’
      • ‘This is the kind of filmmaking that renews my faith in indies.’
      • ‘Another huge difference between major studio distribution choices and indies is expectation.’
      • ‘Just the name alone sends shivers up indies ' shot schedules and editing equipment.’
      • ‘Part of the main drag downtown was closed to traffic, and every night all kinds of films, classics to indies, were screened outside for free.’
      • ‘The truth is that this ban hurts many studios films’ Oscar hopes far more than it hurts the indies.’
      • ‘I don't buy into the conspiracy against indies theory.’
      • ‘He closes by examining the few films - mostly little-known indies - that he believes portray the city in a fuller, truer fashion.’


1920s (first used with reference to film production): abbreviation of independent.