One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Not able to be definitely ascertained, calculated, or identified.‘a woman of indeterminable age’
inestimable, untold, immeasurable, uncountable, incomputable, not to be reckonedView synonyms
- ‘Her eyes were focussed on an indeterminable spot somewhere to the right of her.’
- ‘Cal's new doctor was a tall Indian of indeterminable age, anywhere from late twenties to equally late forties.’
- ‘The road to extinction may be of indeterminable length, but the final destination of that road is not in doubt.’
- ‘Clean shaven and bald, save for a jet black goatee upon his chin, his age was nearly indeterminable.’
- ‘The room was of indeterminable size, and directly in front of him lay an altar, looking as if it were fifty feet away-regardless, he was able to reach it in three steps.’
- ‘After an indeterminable period of frantic slipping and sliding, I called out to a youthful gray haired man who was walking firmly up the hill for help.’
- ‘The case is subject to the Revenue Commissioners appeal procedure and as a result the timing of any outcome is indeterminable,’ the accounts say.’
- ‘It's these tiniest details - the uneasy click of indeterminable percussion, the distant half-heard rumble of thunder from a distance - that make this music so worth hearing.’
- ‘I slept badly that night: long, indeterminable periods of uneasy wakefulness interspaced with dreams.’
- ‘Thereafter, the reader penetrates further and further into a disturbing labyrinth of changing or indeterminable gender.’
- ‘It was a day where the sky was not quite blue, but more a shade of indeterminable grey, with few clouds scattered around like cotton wool stuck on a painting.’
- ‘A girl of indeterminable age stood behind her, a grin on her face.’
- ‘He sneered and began to chant an indeterminable language.’
- ‘For an indeterminable length of time, she wandered between sleep and semi-wakefulness, later remembering the noise of the plane once and then silence.’
- ‘It seemed that somehow, amidst the reminiscing, the laughs, and an indeterminable amount of liquor, he and Jessie had fallen asleep.’
- ‘The dark corridor made the distances indeterminable.’
- ‘Susan's expression went indeterminable, then she wiped her hands on the apron she was wearing, took it off and walked over to Emily, giving her a big compassionate hug.’
- ‘A black haze parts in the middle of the composition, offering a view of indeterminable distance vibrating with yellow, orange and light blue.’
- ‘Why not get it done to save all concerned an indeterminable, indefensible amount of time, money and credibility?’
- ‘We're eating burgers, pizzas, kebabs, sweeties, pies, crisps and assorted pre-packaged pap of indeterminable origin.’
- 1.1 (of a dispute or difficulty) not able to be resolved.
Late 15th century (in the sense ‘unable to be limited’): from late Latin indeterminabilis, from in- ‘not’ + determinabilis (see determinable).
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