from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Not clearly or sharply delineated: an indistinct pattern; indistinct shapes in the gloom.
  • adj. Faint; dim: indistinct stars.
  • adj. Hazy; vague: an indistinct memory; an indistinct notion of how to proceed.
  • adj. Difficult to understand or make out: indistinct speech.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. not clearly defined or not having a sharp outline; faint or dim
  • adj. hazy or vague
  • adj. difficult to understand

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not distinct or distinguishable; not separate in such a manner as to be perceptible by itself.
  • adj. Obscure to the mind or senses; not clear; not definite; confused; imperfect; faint

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not distinct to the senses; not clearly distinguishable or perceptible; not to be discriminated; confused; blurred; obscure: as, indistinct outlines; an indistinct sound.
  • Not distinct to the mind; not clearly defined as to parts or details; indefinite; confused: as, indistinct notions. See clear, 6.
  • Not giving or having distinct impressions, images, or perceptions; dim; dull; imperfect: as, indistinct vision; an indistinct remembrance.
  • Synonyms Undefined, indistinguishable, dim, vague, uncertain, ambiguous.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. not clearly defined or easy to perceive or understand


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Carey wants to have it both ways: it is because literature can "communicate" more effectively and it can also remain "indistinct" in the manner common to all the arts that it is ultimately the most valuable of the arts.

    The State of Criticism

  • In addition, there are approximately three million Burakumin “hamlet people”, who are culturally, ethnically, and religiously indistinct from the Japanese—and yet the Japanese consider them a separate group and discriminate against them.


  • Unlike the distinct representation of a triangle whereby the intellect distinguishes parts and aspects of the triangle from one another, a sensuous representation is clear but indistinct, that is to say, to have a sensuous representation is to perceive something without intellectually distinguishing its parts or aspects.

    Moses Mendelssohn

  • No. These are the most difficult Olympic Games in which we will participate, not only because we are going to compete in sports -- they will be difficult sports-wise -- but because of the conditions and the country where those Olympic Games are going to be held, under [word indistinct] conditions against our country and our delegation.

    Cuba: Castro Blames U.S. for Defections

  • It is with this spirit that we want you to struggle, all of you, in these Olympic Games that will be so difficult, which will take place in the heart of the Empire that [word indistinct] us, in the heart of the monster.

    Cuba: Castro Blames U.S. for Defections

  • Time, also, makes greater demands on our [word indistinct].

    Cuba: Castro Speaks at Santa Clara Rally

  • [Castro] They mean a lot of things, 100,000 times what they could mean [word indistinct].

    Cuba: Castro Speaks at Pioneers' Palace Reopening

  • You all know that in places where trees are cut down and burned, a [word indistinct] grows that was known during the war as [word indistinct].

    Cuba: Fidel Castro Address on ANAP Anniversary

  • [Castro] I am usually reading. [word indistinct] the more papers I have, the more I want to read a good book.

    Cuba: Castro Speaks at Pioneers' Palace Reopening

  • I believe that with the revolution the use of fingerprints is reserved for identification cards of some [word indistinct] whether for voting or for signing a piece of paper, and one had to look for a stamp pad.

    Cuba: Fidel Castro Address on ANAP Anniversary


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