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[in-kuh n-kloo-siv] /ˌɪn kənˈklu sɪv/
not conclusive; not resolving fully all doubts or questions:
inconclusive evidence.
without final results or outcome:
inconclusive experiments.
Origin of inconclusive
1680-90; in-3 + conclusive
Related forms
inconclusively, adverb
inconclusiveness, noun
unsettled, indecisive, indefinite. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for inconclusive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We need not, however, spend much time on the well-worn but inconclusive arguments of the older critics.

  • But all this was inconclusive, for the reason that Mrs. Smiley was not fastened as she is now.

    The Shadow World Hamlin Garland
  • Gideon Whipple mercifully broke in while Harvey D. floundered upon an inconclusive period.

    The Wrong Twin Harry Leon Wilson
  • His opening speech, tame and inconclusive, discouraged his own followers.

  • He was interesting and inconclusive, and the original papers to which he referred her discursive were at best only suggestive.

    Ann Veronica H. G. Wells
British Dictionary definitions for inconclusive


not conclusive or decisive; not finally settled; indeterminate
Derived Forms
inconclusively, adverb
inconclusiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for inconclusive

1680s (implied in inconclusiveness), from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + conclusive. Related: Inconclusively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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