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Supposedly vs. Supposably


[in-di-fahy-nuh-buh l] /ˌɪn dɪˈfaɪ nə bəl/
not definable; not readily identified, described, analyzed, or determined.
something that cannot be defined:
the indefinables of great musicianship.
Origin of indefinable
1800-10; in-3 + definable
Related forms
indefinableness, noun
indefinably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for indefinable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Or we say that she moved, the centre of an indefinable nuance.

    Idle Ideas in 1905 Jerome K. Jerome
  • There was an indefinable hardness in Ruth's manner the next morning.

  • But to my mind Clifton Hampden lacks that indefinable quality of charm found in such abundance elsewhere.

    The Thames G. E. Mitton
  • And he added, with an indefinable glance at Germinie: "Till Thursday, eh?"

    Germinie Lacerteux Edmond and Jules de Goncourt
  • Social genius is as purely a gift of nature as poetry or music; and, of all others, it is the most subtle and indefinable.

    The Women of the French Salons Amelia Gere Mason
  • Elias gave him an indefinable look; his whole being seemed in it.

    An Eagle Flight Jos Rizal
  • Other peoples are not made; they are neither made nor created but proceeding—out of a thousand indefinable causes.

  • And from all this multitude there rose an indefinable murmur.

    The Octopus Frank Norris
British Dictionary definitions for indefinable


incapable of being defined or analysed: there was an indefinable sense of terror
Derived Forms
indefinableness, noun
indefinably, adverb
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 indefinable

1810, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + definable (see define). Related: Indefinably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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