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[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
  • She had the indefinable look of one who dwells with a sorrow for which there is no cure.

    An American Suffragette Isaac N. Stevens
  • But to my mind Clifton Hampden lacks that indefinable quality of charm found in such abundance elsewhere.

    The Thames G. E. Mitton
  • Across the intervals ran an indefinable spark, a bracing, a tension.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • 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
  • And the indefinable tone of her voice when she called Delfina.

    The Child of Pleasure Gabriele D'Annunzio
  • Other peoples are not made; they are neither made nor created but proceeding—out of a thousand indefinable causes.

  • Her heart was so full that it lent an indefinable sadness to her words.

    The Child of Pleasure Gabriele D'Annunzio
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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