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[in-den-tey-shuh n] /ˌɪn dɛnˈteɪ ʃən/
a cut, notch, or deep recess:
various bays and indentations.
a series of incisions or notches:
the indentation of a maple leaf.
a notching or being notched.
indention (defs 1, 2).
Origin of indentation
1715-25; indent1 + -ation Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for indentation
  • Sometimes softer orthotics can help or a special indentation in the harder orthotics.
  • There is a small furrow above the bridge of his nose, where a piece of bone is missing, leaving a slight indentation.
  • The view from the rear is broken up by the indentation cut widely around the license plate in a contrasting color.
  • Each indentation has been cut by a waterfall falling from the plateau above.
  • Make a large indentation with a soup ladle or large spoon and pour stewed salt fish with lots of gravy in the center.
  • Each bullet made an indentation only two fifths to four fifths of an inch deep.
  • There's a small indentation on the top that serves as a chalk tray.
  • indentation is accomplished using tab characters or spaces.
  • Boo uses indentation, a similar syntax, and a similar object model.
British Dictionary definitions for indentation


a hollowed, notched, or cut place, as on an edge or on a coastline
a series of hollows, notches, or cuts
the act of indenting or the condition of being indented
Also called indention, indent. the leaving of space or the amount of space left between a margin and the start of an indented line
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 indentation

1728, of margins or edges, extended form of indent (n.). Meaning "action of making a dent or impression" is from 1847.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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indentation in Medicine

indentation in·den·ta·tion (ĭn'děn-tā'shən)
A notch, a pit, or a depression.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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indentation in Culture

indentation definition

A space left between the left-hand margin of a line of type or handwriting and the beginning of a sentence or quotation. The beginning of a paragraph is usually indented.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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indentation in Technology

document, text, programming
Space and/or tab characters added at the beginning of one or more consecutive lines to indicate the structure of a piece of text, e.g. indenting a passage to make it stand out.
Indentation is important in source code for readability. See indent style. Some programming languages go further and use indentation as the main method to represent block structure to the compiler or interpreter, see off-side rule.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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