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Supposedly vs. Supposably


[non-di-skript] /ˌnɒn dɪˈskrɪpt/
of no recognized, definite, or particular type or kind:
a nondescript novel; a nondescript color.
undistinguished or uninteresting; dull or insipid:
The private detective deliberately wore nondescript clothes.
a person or a thing of no particular or notable type or kind.
Origin of nondescript
1675-85; non- + Latin dēscrīptus (past participle of dēscrībere to describe, define, represent; see describe)
1. undistinctive, usual, ordinary, unexceptional. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for nondescript
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was not, however, ventured on; and the nondescript animal was still confined to the windows of “the Macaroni print shops.”

  • The nondescript knew two Miss Dorrits; one who was born inside—That was the one!

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • A nondescript suit of the day-labourer type and a few deft touches of coal dust completed his make-up.

    The Drums Of Jeopardy Harold MacGrath
  • He was dressed in the nondescript costume he had worn at their first meeting.

    The Heart of Thunder Mountain Edfrid A. Bingham
  • The site of the world-renowned hanging gardens is now marked by a series of nondescript lumps.

    A Dweller in Mesopotamia Donald Maxwell
British Dictionary definitions for nondescript


lacking distinct or individual characteristics; having no outstanding features
a nondescript person or thing
Word Origin
C17: from non- + Latin dēscriptus, past participle of dēscribere to copy, describe
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 nondescript

1680s, "not hitherto described," in scientific usage, coined from non- + Latin descriptus, past participle of describere (see describe). General sense of "not easily described or classified" is from 1806.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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