Definitions

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

  • adj. Lacking distinctive qualities; having no individual character or form: "This expression gave temporary meaning to a set of features otherwise nondescript” ( Katherine Anne Porter).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not described (in the academic literature); undescribed, unidentified.
  • adj. Without distinguishing qualities or characteristics; unexceptional.
  • n. An undistinguished, unexceptional person or thing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not hitherto described
  • adj. Dull or uninteresting; undistinguished.
  • n. A thing not yet described; that of which no account or explanation has been given; something abnormal, or hardly classifiable.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not hitherto described or classed.
  • Not easily described; abnormal or amorphous: of no particular kind; odd; unclassifiable; indescribable.
  • n. Anything that has not been described.
  • n. A person or thing not easily described or classed: usually applied disparagingly.

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

  • adj. lacking distinct or individual characteristics; dull and uninteresting
  • n. a person is not easily classified and not very interesting

Etymologies

non- + Latin dēscrīptus, past participle of dēscrībere, to describe; see describe.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From non- +‎ descript. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • “I…” Sabrina edged a sideways glance at Dylan, who was scrutinizing her closely, his expression nondescript.

    Scent of Danger

  • Most targets were small groups of people in nondescript civilian vehicles that blend in with traffic, or inside unremarkable buildings.

    Matthew Yglesias » Time Machine

  • Cold and nondescript from the street, it sits about 2 miles from campus, adjacent to a Bed Bath & Beyond and engulfed on three sides by the tall, barbed-wire fence of a local auto body shop.

    Catlin has made a career out of busting juicers

  • Rolling into the grey streets of the small lowland towns, past open fronted stores set in nondescript concrete slab buildings, the bus was transformed into a mobile drive-in restaurant.

    The bus ride from hell that I learned to love Oaxaca

  • The other man, in nondescript garments that were both of the sea and shore, and that must have been uncomfortably hot, slouched and shambled like an overgrown ape.

    The Martha

  • Confederate cavalry — fine, rough-looking fellows, dressed in nondescript uniforms, red shirts, grey tunics; some with boots and some without; armed with sabres and revolvers.

    Illustration of the War in America

  • "Well," replied the other, coolly, "he is what I call a nondescript; like an attorney, or a surgeon, or a civil engineer, or a banker, or a stock-broker, and all that sort of people.

    Love Me Little, Love Me Long

  • As a last ditch effort, I called a nondescript market, a short cab drive away, and bingo, I bought the last one they had sitting on the shelf, for God knows how long.

    Morelia and more!!

  • The other, known simply as Serial Shooter, has killed five people and wounded 16, shooting from inside what Phoenix police can only identify as a nondescript four-door sedan.

    On the Trail of Two Serial Killers

  • There was a string of people already straggling in, whom it was not difficult to identify as the nondescript messengers, go – betweens, and errand – bearers of the place.

    Little Dorrit

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.