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[in-di-stingkt] /ˌɪn dɪˈstɪŋkt/
not distinct; not clearly marked or defined:
indistinct markings.
not clearly distinguishable or perceptible, as to the eye, ear, or mind:
He heard an indistinct muttering.
not distinguishing clearly:
After the accident he suffered from indistinct vision and faulty hearing.
Origin of indistinct
1520-30; < Latin indistinctus. See in-3, distinct
Related forms
indistinctly, adverb
indistinctness, noun
2. blurred, clouded, dim. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for indistinctly
Historical Examples
  • The other person who followed close behind him was, I guessed from his uniform, which I could but indistinctly see, Antonio.

    In New Granada W.H.G. Kingston
  • People pressed around him, but so indistinctly he could not recognize them.

  • As I jumped to my feet, I indistinctly saw what appeared to me to be a body of men coming towards us.

    Sawdust & Spangles W. C. Coup
  • Soon he indistinctly saw two men engaged in a hand to hand strife.

  • Its blade gleamed faintly now and then in the star-light, so indistinctly that at first it seemed like a trailing white ribbon.

  • "Not all skill—not all skill," piped the metallic voice, indistinctly.

    Roden's Corner Henry Seton Merriman
  • Smoke was all about me, and I could only see the faces of convicts and warders looming at me through the haze, indistinctly.

    Dead Man's Love Tom Gallon
  • "You know everything," she answered, indistinctly, through her fingers.

    Tales of Unrest Joseph Conrad
  • These are either over the whole fruit, or only indistinctly on the side exposed to the sun.

    British Pomology Robert Hogg
  • “You should have the Croix de Guerre,” he said indistinctly.

    The Crimson Tide Robert W. Chambers
British Dictionary definitions for indistinctly


incapable of being clearly distinguished, as by the eyes, ears, or mind; not distinct
Derived Forms
indistinctly, adverb
indistinctness, 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 indistinctly



c.1400 (implied in indistinctly "equally, alike"), from Latin indistinctus "not distinct, confused," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + distinctus (see distinct). Related: Indistinctly; indistinctness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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