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[in-del-uh-buh l] /ɪnˈdɛl ə bəl/
making marks that cannot be erased, removed, or the like:
indelible ink.
that cannot be eliminated, forgotten, changed, or the like:
the indelible memories of war; the indelible influence of a great teacher.
Origin of indelible
1520-30; < Medieval Latin indēlibilis; replacing indeleble < Latin indēlēbilis indestructible. See in-3, dele, -ble
Related forms
indelibility, indelibleness, noun
indelibly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for indelible
  • They felt that it was high-handed and brutal, and that it fixed an indelible blot on the national conscience.
  • The night behind bars made an indelible impression, and he never joined a gang.
  • Industry and our pursuit of fossil fuels have left indelible marks on the planet in numerous ways.
  • Let's talk about branding for a moment: the art of making an indelible good impression on as many people as you can.
  • From sidewalk musicians to public art sculptures, the arts are an indelible part of the city's soul.
  • The indelible ink to prevent multiple voting with fingerprints turned out not to be indelible after all.
  • For the truly afflicted among us, cars leave an indelible mark upon our lives.
  • Let's see how good all that indelible ink is for washing.
  • To have once imagined and composed fiction, it seemed, laid him under an indelible curse of unreality.
  • But to the half-dozen photographers and reporters who watched the helicopters depart, the details are indelible.
British Dictionary definitions for indelible


incapable of being erased or obliterated
making indelible marks: indelible ink
Derived Forms
indelibility, indelibleness, noun
indelibly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin indēlēbilis indestructible, from in-1+ delēre to destroy
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 indelible

1520s, from Latin indelebilis "indelible, imperishable," from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + delebilis "able to be destroyed," from delere "destroy, blot out" (see delete). Vowel change from -e- to -i- in English is late 17c. Related: Indelibly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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