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Indefinite   /ɪndˈɛfənət/   Listen
Indefinite

adjective
1.
Vague or not clearly defined or stated.  "Amorphous blots of color having vague and indefinite edges" , "He would not answer so indefinite a proposal"
2.
Not decided or not known.  "Plans are indefinite"



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"Indefinite" Quotes from Famous Books



... trade, when the time arrived for renewing the licences of public-houses. There can be no doubt that the measure proceeded from excellent motives; but it is certain that by encouraging the increase of public-houses to an indefinite extent, immorality and crime had been introduced into every nook and corner of the land. The picture which the poet Cowper drew of the evils of public-houses in his day have been increased a hundredfold by such a measure so that it is ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... this central home of the world, to their native homes in England or America, which they are apt thenceforward to look upon as provincial, after once having yielded to the spell of the Eternal City. The artist, who contemplates an indefinite succession of winters in this home of art (though his first thought was merely to improve himself by a brief visit), goes forth, in the summer time, to sketch scenery and costume among the Tuscan hills, and pour, if he can, the purple air of Italy over his canvas. He studies the ...
— The Marble Faun, Volume II. - The Romance of Monte Beni • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... that the forest was instantly filled with ear-splitting shrieks is to express the result but feebly. We might put it as a sort of indefinite question in the rule of three, thus—if an ordinary civilised pig with injured feelings can yell as we all know how, what must have been the explosion of a wild-boar of the eighth century BuCu, in circumstances such as we have described? Railway whistles of the nineteenth century, ...
— The Hot Swamp • R.M. Ballantyne

... he was thinking deeply about their position; and as he thought, the dread that the captain's words had inspired, endorsed as they were by Daygo's, began to fade away, till he found himself half contemptuously saying to himself that he should like to catch the skipper at it—it meaning something indefinite that might mean something worse, but in all probability keeping them prisoners till he had got away all ...
— Cormorant Crag - A Tale of the Smuggling Days • George Manville Fenn

... the wretched scarecrows of seamen to the weary business of tacking ship, letting go, brailing up, hauling in, and making fast for the thousandth time; and then back to the pumps and kettles again. No human being could endure this for an indefinite time; and though their diet of worms represented by the rotten biscuit was varied with cassava bread supplied by friendly natives, the Admiral could not make his way eastward further than Cape Cruz. ...
— Christopher Columbus, Complete • Filson Young

... that he does not in the least yearn after the Salvationist at the Marble Arch. Bigotry may be roughly defined as the anger of men who have no opinions. It is the resistance offered to definite ideas by that vague bulk of people whose ideas are indefinite to excess. Bigotry may be called the appalling frenzy of the indifferent. This frenzy of the indifferent is in truth a terrible thing; it has made all monstrous and widely pervading persecutions. In this degree it was not the ...
— Heretics • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... nor short. She was of that divine and indefinite height known as medium; slender but perfectly molded; strong but graceful, an absolutely healthy young person whose beauty knew well how to take care of itself. Being quite heart-whole and fancy-free, she slept ...
— Beverly of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... later Dale walked into the Black Cat Tavern and made a ruinous bargain with Tate for the use of his horse and sled for an indefinite time. "I'm going up into the woods," he explained, "I may be gone a week, a month, I cannot tell; when I reach Camp 7, I'll send ...
— Joyce of the North Woods • Harriet T. Comstock

... any exceptional peculiarities, but solely because this is the Bee most often mentioned in my notes. Her customary dwelling is the tunnel of an Earth-worm opening on some clay bank. Whether perpendicular or slanting, this tunnel runs down to an indefinite depth, where the climate would be too damp for the Bee. Besides, when the time comes for the hatching of the adult insect, its emergence would be fraught with peril if it had to climb up from a deep pit through crumbling rubbish. The Leaf-cutter, therefore, uses only ...
— Bramble-bees and Others • J. Henri Fabre

... late, and the fire had sunken to ash and embers. Before they parted for the night it was agreed that the master of Westover should remain with the master of Fair View for a day or so, at the end of which time the latter gentleman would accompany the former to Westover for a visit of indefinite length. ...
— Audrey • Mary Johnston

... do nothing to break. She was in the smaller drawing-room, in which she always "sat," and she had, by calculation, dressed for dinner on finally coming in. It was a wonder how many things she had calculated in respect to this small incident—a matter for the importance of which she had so quite indefinite a measure. He would be late—he would be very late; that was the one certainty that seemed to look her in the face. There was still also the possibility that if he drove with Charlotte straight to ...
— The Golden Bowl • Henry James

... arising to call for great and unusual expenditures. In consequence of the vast accumulation of capital in the hands of private individuals, and the confidence which is felt in the mercantile honor and good faith of most established governments at the present day, these governments can procure indefinite supplies of gold and silver at any time, by promising to pay an annual interest in lieu of the principal borrowed. It is true that, in these cases, a stipulation is made, by which the government may, at a certain specified period, ...
— Xerxes - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... face, wallet-shaped and sallow, was scattered over with white moles, or rather, warts, one of which, on her eyelid, caused it to droop over her eye and to blink sometimes, suddenly. She had a short, indefinite nose and long, large lips firmly folded. With its updrawn hair and impassivity her face recalled that of a Chinese image; but more than of anything else she gave Gregory the impression, vaguely and incongruously tragic, of an ...
— Tante • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... for the last sixteen years, when Ethelyn was at home, she had gone to the pleasant, airy chamber where her darling slept, and bending over her had kissed her fair, glowing cheek, and so called her back from the dreamless slumber which otherwise might have been prolonged to an indefinite time, for Ethelyn did not believe in the maxim, "Early to bed and early to rise," and always begged for a little more indulgence, even after the brown eyes unclosed and flashed forth a responsive greeting to the motherly face bending ...
— Ethelyn's Mistake • Mary Jane Holmes

... of Oxford, who had now remained almost two years a prisoner in the Tower, presented a petition to the house of lords, praying that his imprisonment might not be indefinite. Some of the tory lords affirmed that the impeachment was destroyed and determined by the prorogation of parliament, which superseded the whole proceedings; but the contrary was voted by a considerable majority. The thirteenth day of June was fixed for the trial; ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... man, Mr. Grant," the earl continued, "I would secure your services for a time indefinite; but, as every one knows, not an acre of the property belongs to me, or goes with the title. Davie, dear boy, will have nothing but a thousand or two. The marriage I have in view for lord Forgue will arrange a ...
— Donal Grant • George MacDonald

... slowly. Neither spoke as they mounted the ascent of the bridge; and they halted where they could hear the flow of the water below them. Heavy darkness surrounded them. The broad stream stretched itself out in gray, indefinite outlines; red lights in the distance, floating above the water, awoke answering gleams from its surface. Trembling stripes of light reached down from the shore they had just left; on the other side of the bridge the river lost itself in the ...
— The Dead Are Silent - 1907 • Arthur Schnitzler

... wandered for an indefinite time among those caves before striking the road. That I was off the track now seemed certain, for it was obvious that no sleigh could pass through those walls. The thin drift of snow that had covered the ground was almost melted, but enough remained to have showed the ...
— Jacqueline of Golden River • H. M. Egbert

... seem to understand the ghastly nature of her proposal. I gave Motty the swift east-to-west. He was sitting with his mouth nuzzling the stick, blinking at the wall. The thought of having this planted on me for an indefinite period appalled me. Absolutely appalled me, don't you know. I was just starting to say that the shot wasn't on the board at any price, and that the first sign Motty gave of trying to nestle into my little home I would yell for the police, when she went on, rolling ...
— My Man Jeeves • P. G. Wodehouse

... it to me. "I can't resist telling you," she said, "because it wouldn't be fair of me to deprive you: it's far too much in your line." She even flattered me: "You'd do it awfully well too, you know; but I have a sort of sentimental regard for her—not admiration, or anything of that kind, but an indefinite feeling that noblesse oblige. In her own extraordinary way she did us a good turn, and however carefully you wrapped it up she might recognise her portrait and feel embarrassed. It's she that I'm thinking of, not Arthur. Arthur was too young at the time to realize what was happening, and if ...
— The Tragic Bride • Francis Brett Young

... of all that the past ages have given us, of the things that we have learned in our own day, and of what we are just now learning. With this art Andreyev succeeds in communicating ideas, thoughts, and feelings so fine, so tenuous, so indefinite as to appear to transcend human expression. He does not care whether the things he writes about are true, whether his characters are real. What he aims to give is a true impression. And to convey this impression he ...
— Savva and The Life of Man • Leonid Andreyev

... together with twenty-eight francs for his article of the preceding day, which, in addition to what remained to him of his salary from the railroad office, left him three hundred and forty francs. He had never had so much, and he thought himself rich for an indefinite time. Saint-Potin took him to the offices of four or five rival papers, hoping that the news he had been commissioned to obtain had been already received by them and that he could obtain it by ...
— Bel Ami • Henri Rene Guy de Maupassant

... on the ground at his feet, and then cut the leather which restrained his arms, leaving him only tied to the tree. "I am not Sir Thomas Dale," I said, "and therefore I shall not gag you and leave you bound for an indefinite length of time, to contemplate a grave that you thought to dig. One haunted wood is enough for one county. Your lordship will observe that I have knotted your bonds in easy reach of your hands, the use of which I have just restored to ...
— To Have and To Hold • Mary Johnston

... calm strength and the spirit of their lofty peace. The following day, they would spend in town; purchasing an outfit of the necessary equipment and supplies, securing a burro, and attending to numerous odds and ends of business preparatory to their indefinite absence. ...
— The Eyes of the World • Harold Bell Wright

... taken a rapid observation of Grandcourt, made a brief graphic description of him to an indefinite hearer.) ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... believe it will be allowed by those familiar with German idioms, that the phrase kaum 6 Stunden, is not to be rendered as though it meant no more or less than 6; but rather thus: "but little more than 6;"—the "little more," in this indefinite form of expression, being a very uncertain quantity, it may be an hour ...
— Notes & Queries 1849.12.01 • Various

... furiously busy were they in preparing their peculiar vessel for a cruise of indefinite duration. Stevens cut himself short on sleep and snatched his meals in passing; and Nadia, when not busy at her own tasks of observing, housekeeping, and doing what little piloting was required, was rapidly learning to wield most effectively the spanner ...
— Spacehounds of IPC • Edward Elmer Smith

... understood that this course would not be taken as a sanction of the Judge's conduct. To my astonishment, members who had said only half an hour before that they should vote for the impeachment now voted for an indefinite postponement, which was carried by three votes—fifteen to twelve. I did not vote, and three members who strongly favored the impeachment were absent at the time. Seven of the members who voted for ...
— Personal Reminiscences of Early Days in California with Other Sketches; To Which Is Added the Story of His Attempted Assassination by a Former Associate on the Supreme Bench of the State • Stephen Field; George C. Gorham

... confined to salt water, and consequently fresh material is not available. Nevertheless, enough can be done with dried material to get a good idea of their general appearance, and the fruiting plants can be readily preserved in strong alcohol. Specimens, simply dried, may be kept for an indefinite period, and on being placed in water will assume perfectly the appearance of the living plants. Prolonged exposure, however, to the action of fresh water extracts the red pigment that gives them their characteristic ...
— Elements of Structural and Systematic Botany - For High Schools and Elementary College Courses • Douglas Houghton Campbell

... distrustfully. His accent wasn't that of the kind of man who is accustomed to saying "ma'm." His back was toward the nearest lamp post, his face in shadow. She gained no more than a dim impression of a short, slender figure masked in a grey duster buttoned to the throat, and, above it, a face rendered indefinite by a short, pointed beard and a grey motor-cap pulled ...
— The Bandbox • Louis Joseph Vance

... children, the voices of women. The hands and heads of this throng, black against the luminous background, outlined against it a thousand eccentric gestures. At times, upon the ground, where trembled the light of the fires, mingled with large, indefinite shadows, one could behold a dog passing, which resembled a man, a man who resembled a dog. The limits of races and species seemed effaced in this city, as in a pandemonium. Men, women, beasts, age, sex, health, maladies, all seemed to be ...
— Notre-Dame de Paris - The Hunchback of Notre Dame • Victor Hugo

... then, for a spell, the German mercenary pondered her with those slowly kindling eyes, that slowly spreading, indefinite smile. Then he stirred, and to his ...
— The Historical Nights' Entertainment • Rafael Sabatini

... troubles which the ambitious little province brought upon itself by these indefinite expansions of its territory we shall treat at large in the after pages of this eventful history; sufficient for the present is it to say, that the swelling importance of the Nieuw Nederlandts awakened ...
— Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete • Washington Irving

... the division of bonbons, perhaps, or whose turn it was to take afternoon tea with the prince—it had generally been the new houri's, resulting in considerable jealousy and consequent discord—or some trifle of that sort (Joe had never been in a harem, and was therefore indefinite), when the blackamoor, to punctuate his remarks, slashed the odalisque across her thinly covered shoulders with a knout—a not uncommon mode of enforcing ...
— The Veiled Lady - and Other Men and Women • F. Hopkinson Smith

... the first of April, 1841. His education was obtained at a village school house. When he was in his thirteenth year his parents removed to Ohio, and the lad remained with them until his eighteenth year, when he left home with a somewhat indefinite idea of doing something for himself, although possessing neither money nor friends to aid him in his start in life. Until the year 1864, he wandered from place to place, turning his hand to various employments, but ...
— Cleveland Past and Present - Its Representative Men, etc. • Maurice Joblin

... dropping into our house on his way home from the store, where he was a sort of overseer or salesman,—never failed to bring in its season the earliest wild-flower or the freshest fruit,—had thoroughly searched Catlettsburg for books to please me,—nay, had once sent an indefinite order to a Cincinnati bookseller to put up twenty dollars' worth of the best books for a lady, which order was filled by a collection of the Annuals of six years back and a few unsalable modern novels. I read them all most conscientiously and gratefully, and ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 76, February, 1864 • Various

... ill. I am now at Thoreau. I almost blame myself for persevering in anything so difficult under the circumstances: but it may set me up again in style, which is the great point. I have now L80 in the world and two houses to keep up for an indefinite period. It is odd to be on so strict a regimen; it is a week for instance since I have bought myself a drink, and unless times change, I do not suppose I shall ever buy myself another. The health improves. ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 23 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... by the absence of news during the night, for Larcher's discouraged face when he appeared at the flat in the morning. Miss Kenby seemed already to have fortified her mind for an indefinite season of anxiety. She maintained an outward calm, but it was the forced calm of a resolution to bear torture heroically. She had her lapses, her moments of weakness and outcry, her periods of despair, during the ensuing days,—for days did ensue, and nothing was seen or heard ...
— The Mystery of Murray Davenport - A Story of New York at the Present Day • Robert Neilson Stephens

... spread largely on the sofa, continued to look down the row of his waistcoat buttons; but his cheeks became tinged by a faint blush. Of late even the merest derivative of the word science (a term in itself inoffensive and of indefinite meaning) had the curious power of evoking a definitely offensive mental vision of Mr Vladimir, in his body as he lived, with an almost supernatural clearness. And this phenomenon, deserving justly to be classed amongst the marvels of science, induced in ...
— The Secret Agent - A Simple Tale • Joseph Conrad

... of the senses would make the stars stationary in the vault of heaven, Astronomy, by her aspiring labors, has assigned indefinite bounds to space; and if she have set limits to the great nebula to which our solar system belongs, it has only been to show us in those remote regions of our optic powers, islet on islet of scattered nebulae. The feeling of the sublime, so far as it arises from a contemplation of ...
— COSMOS: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe, Vol. 1 • Alexander von Humboldt

... the matter is that the account in the rmur of the killing of the bear, though brief, is so confused and indefinite that it does not bear analysis; and this is further evidence of the fact that the author of the rmur clumsily re-worked material that he found in the Hrlfssaga version of Bjarki's career, and for the dragon story, which is a good story, ...
— The Relation of the Hrolfs Saga Kraka and the Bjarkarimur to Beowulf • Oscar Ludvig Olson

... seductive powers which European civilization exercised upon Russia, the Russians perceived its weak sides, which they studied by the light of the ideal which they promised themselves to attain in some indefinite future, a future which they nevertheless hoped was ...
— Contemporary Russian Novelists • Serge Persky

... exist to prevent this subversion. An amendment may be amended, but here the process must cease. An amendment must of course be put to vote before the original question. A motion to amend holds the same rank as the previous question and indefinite postponement, and that which is moved first must be put first. It may be superseded, however, by a motion to postpone to a certain day, or ...
— How To Behave: A Pocket Manual Of Republican Etiquette, And Guide To Correct Personal Habits • Samuel R Wells

... were indefinite—on the whole, no doubt, it was because people liked her better. They had grown used to her at Ansdore, where at first her mastership had shocked them; the scandal and contempt aroused by the Socknersh episode were definitely dead, and men ...
— Joanna Godden • Sheila Kaye-Smith

... better to prevent it, the elder members of the board that is, those who have passed the chairform a standing committee of indefinite powers, which is called the Committee of Treasury. I say 'indefinite powers,' for I am not aware that any precise description has ever been given of them, and I doubt if they can be precisely described. They are sometimes ...
— Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market • Walter Bagehot

... by J. H. Fowler, is almost Poe-like in its grimly fantastic quality. We can excuse rather indefinite metre when we consider the admirably created atmosphere, the weird harmony of the lines, the judicious use of alliteration, and the apt selection of words. "Bird-shunned", as applied to the thickets of the forest, is a particularly graphic epithet. Mr. Fowler is to ...
— Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922 • Howard Phillips Lovecraft

... therefore, is that the treaty is declared to have no obligation whatever; that its ratification is made to depend not on the considerations which led to its adoption and the conditions which it contains, but on a new article unconnected with it, respecting which a new negotiation must be opened, of indefinite duration and doubtful issue. ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 1 (of 3) of Volume 2: James Monroe • James D. Richardson

... moved indefinite postponement. Senator Brown of Douglas, who introduced the resolution, spoke against the motion and made a forcible historical argument for the bill. Senator McShane then spoke at length against the bill, basing his opposition to the enfranchisement of woman on the ground ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... which it has been attended. Of the gross number of immigrants who have reached the province, many are already mouldering in their graves. Among the survivors there are widows and orphans, and aged and diseased persons, who will probably be for an indefinite period a burden on Government or private charity. A large proportion of the healthy and prosperous, who have availed themselves of the cheap route of the St. Lawrence, will, I fears find their way to the Western States, where land is procurable on more advantageous terms than in Canada. To ...
— Letters and Journals of James, Eighth Earl of Elgin • James, Eighth Earl of Elgin

... manners were simple and their discipline was very severe. Statuary, sculpture of the best kind, painting of the highest merit—in a word, the best that art could produce—were all dedicated to the national service in the enrichment of Temples and other public buildings, the State having indefinite and almost unlimited power over the property of all wealthy citizens. The public surroundings of an influential Athenian were therefore in direct contrast to the simplicity of his home, which contained the most meagre supply of ...
— Illustrated History of Furniture - From the Earliest to the Present Time • Frederick Litchfield

... each must offer with a kiss, and with a word or two expressive of his good wishes. All hoped I would come soon again, and Aleck more than hinted a request that I would postpone my departure to some indefinite period which he could not name. Poor tremulous heart! how it throbbed amongst them all, and how sad it felt to part from them! Love bound me to the happy room—the only love that connected the poor outcast with the wide cold world. This was the home of my affections—could I leave ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXIX. - March, 1843, Vol. LIII. • Various

... varied riches of that port! For almost to the beach, but that a wall Inclosed them, reached the gardens of a lord, His shady walks, his ancient trees of state; His river, which, with course indefinite, Wandered across the sands without the wall, And lost itself in finding out the sea: Within, it floated swans, white splendours; lay Beneath the fairy leap of a wire bridge; Vanished and reappeared amid the shades, And led you where the peacock's plumy heaven Bore azure suns with green and ...
— A Hidden Life and Other Poems • George MacDonald

... metaphysic, which is mathematic; but I think it more agreeable to the nature of things, and to the light of order, to place it as a branch of metaphysic. For the subject of it being quantity, not quantity indefinite, which is but a relative, and belongeth to philosophia prima (as hath been said), but quantity determined or proportionable, it appeareth to be one of the essential forms of things, as that that is ...
— The Advancement of Learning • Francis Bacon

... interruption,) has seized upon Texas, with a view of extending the curse of slavery, and of finding a mart for the excess of her negro population: if Texas is admitted into the Union, all chance of the abolition of slavery must be thrown forward to such an indefinite period, as to be lost in the mist of futurity; if, on the contrary, Texas remains an independent province, or is restored to its legitimate owners, and in either case slavery is abolished, she then becomes, from the very circumstance of her fertility and aptitude for white ...
— Diary in America, Series One • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... of which had belonged to Pereira, must be mended with very insufficient tools and without the help of a forge. Indeed, had it not chanced that Hans, the Hottentot, had worked for a wagon-maker at some indefinite period of his career, I do not think that we could have ...
— Marie - An Episode in The Life of the late Allan Quatermain • H. Rider Haggard

... territorial disputes vary in intensity from managed or dormant to violent or militarized; most disputes over the alignment of political boundaries are confined to short segments and are today less common and less hostile than borderland, resource, and territorial disputes; undemarcated, indefinite, porous, and unmanaged boundaries, however, encourage illegal cross-border activities, uncontrolled migration, and confrontation; territorial disputes may evolve from historical and/or cultural ...
— The 2007 CIA World Factbook • United States

... from plains of moderate extent, bounded by an indefinite succession of walled hollows and ring ramparts. They are the only chains met in this region of ridge-brimmed craters and circles; distinguished by no particular feature, they project a few pointed peaks here and there, some of which exceed four miles and a half in height. ...
— All Around the Moon • Jules Verne

... beings can only approximate indefinitely, and which the pure moral law, which is itself on this account called holy, constantly and rightly holds before their eyes. The utmost that finite practical reason can effect is to be certain of this indefinite progress of one's maxims and of their steady disposition to advance. This is virtue, and virtue, at least as a naturally acquired faculty, can never be perfect, because assurance in such a case never becomes apodeictic certainty and, when ...
— The Critique of Practical Reason • Immanuel Kant

... down by the engine-house or the young superintendent with his college education, his white hands and dominating position; over each and all who came within range of her influence Felice, with her black hair and green eyes, her slim figure and her certain indefinite "cheek"—which must not by any manner of means be considered as "boldness"—cast ...
— A Deal in Wheat - And Other Stories of the New and Old West • Frank Norris

... were running at even a slow speed, the motion imparted to lever L would be indefinite; and this, especially if the governor is fitted to the air valve lever, as in fig. 25, is very undesirable. Therefore, to obtain a definite opening we must set out the cam, as shown in fig. 31. In this diagram the roller is shown standing clear of ...
— Gas and Oil Engines, Simply Explained - An Elementary Instruction Book for Amateurs and Engine Attendants • Walter C. Runciman

... fresh clue to the problem of adaptation except in so far as it is easier to believe that a definite integral change in attributes can make a perceptible difference to the prospect of success, than that an indefinite and impalpable change should entail such consequences.' Here the distinction between adaptive and non-adaptive characters is recognised, but both are emphatically attributed to the ...
— Hormones and Heredity • J. T. Cunningham

... the undefined supremacy over law and legislation which always attached to ancient sovereigns and which is not obscurely related to the patriarchal and heroic authority they had once enjoyed. The circumstances of Rome gave great importance to the more indefinite portion of the functions thus as transferred, as with the establishment of the republic began that series of recurrent trials which overtook the state, in the difficulty of dealing with a multitude of persons who, not coming within the technical description of indigenous Romans, were nevertheless ...
— Ancient Law - Its Connection to the History of Early Society • Sir Henry James Sumner Maine

... fastness of the hills latchstring and hearthstone and tobacco store were for genial sharing. In almost any one of these log shelters that he chanced upon he might have settled himself in content and found an indefinite welcome, but the urge to be up and on sent him forward to the next rude threshold. Thus mountain cabin succeeded mountain cabin until, presently, one day Fred Starratt found himself swinging down to the plains again—to the broad-bosomed valleys lying parched and expectant ...
— Broken to the Plow • Charles Caldwell Dobie

... doubt,' rejoined the vicar drily. I made my way among the trees and found you lying there, unconscious. I made some attempt to stop the blood-flow, then picked you up; it seemed better, on the whole, than leaving you on the wet grass an indefinite time. Your overcoat was on the ground; as I took hold of it, two letters fell from the pocket. I made no scruple about reading the addresses, and was astonished to find that one was to Mrs. Eldon, at Wanley Manor, Wanley being the place where I was about to live on my return to England. ...
— Demos • George Gissing

... subject. I kept my word. For more than a year I had not of myself opened my mouth thereon. If he was sometimes spoken to before me, and I could not keep quite silent without being suspected of sulking or pique, I carelessly said something indefinite, with as little meaning in it as possible, and calculated to ...
— The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete • Duc de Saint-Simon

... facts of distribution, development, classification, etc., may be accounted for, 'i.e.' may be deduced from their mode of origin, combined with admitted changes in physical geography and climate, during an indefinite period. And this explanation, or coincidence of observed with deduced facts, is, so far as it extends, a verification of the ...
— The Origin of Species - From 'The Westminster Review', April 1860 • Thomas H. Huxley

... The first indefinite evidence that he was about to be engulfed came in the form of a newspaper story, ex the steamer Timaru, from Sydney, via Tahiti. There it was, as big as a church—a paragraph of it, tucked away in a column-and-a-half story of the bombardment of Papeete by the German ...
— Cappy Ricks Retires • Peter B. Kyne

... crises of the world the preliminary actions have always been indefinite, hesitating, or obscure. Indefiniteness is far from proving the insincerity or transiency of Imperialism as an ideal. "A man," says Oliver Cromwell, "never goes so far as when he does not know whither he is going." What Cromwell meant was that, in the ...
— The Origins and Destiny of Imperial Britain - Nineteenth Century Europe • J. A. Cramb

... into tears and regretfully recalling the time when his mother had allowed him to run wild in the streets. Florent thereupon stopped his lessons in despair, and to console the lad promised him a holiday of indefinite length. As an excuse for his own weakness he repeated that he had not brought his brother to Paris to distress him. To see him grow up in happiness became his chief desire. He quite worshipped the boy, was charmed with his merry laughter, and felt infinite joy in seeing ...
— The Fat and the Thin • Emile Zola

... was undescriptive of his person, which was obviously the result of a singular series of mesalliances. He wore a grizzled moustache and indefinite whiskers; he was small and shabby, and looked like an old postman. Penrod envied Duke because he was sure Duke would never be compelled to be a Child Sir Lancelot. He thought a dog free and unshackled ...
— Penrod • Booth Tarkington

... when the captain coming from his cabin, and observing the master-at-arms leading Israel about in this indefinite style, demanded the reason of that procedure, adding that it was against his express orders for any new and degrading punishments to be invented for ...
— Israel Potter • Herman Melville

... of the day had gained a full knowledge of the intentions of the Indians in regard to their captives. Leland was to suffer death at the stake at an early period, while the negro was to be reserved until some indefinite time in the future, ...
— The Ranger - or The Fugitives of the Border • Edward S. Ellis

... clear and intelligible account of progress towards any definite end. They seem rather designed to attract and to appeal to our sympathy than to satisfy our intelligence. They set before us all kinds of work unrelated, indefinite, changeable, and changing from year to year, as though the compilers selected from the letters of missionaries any striking statements which they thought would attract support in themselves and by themselves. ...
— Missionary Survey As An Aid To Intelligent Co-Operation In Foreign Missions • Roland Allen

... are the astrologers, who are believed if they tell one truth to a hundred lies, while other people lose all credit if they tell one lie to a hundred truths.' But the contempt for astrology did not necessarily lead to a return to the belief in Providence. It could as easily lead to an indefinite fatalism. ...
— The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy • Jacob Burckhardt

... gracefulness. The leaves are a light glossy green, ovate, and often a foot long, while the flowers are pure white (resembling slightly the azalea, but free from its fragility), large, and with an elusive scent, sweet and yet indefinite. The fruit, smooth and of porcelain whiteness, varies in size and shape, and is said to be edible, though blacks ignore it. A large marble and an undersized hen's egg may dangle together, or in company with ...
— Tropic Days • E. J. Banfield

... its shares were in great demand. And, as only Law's bank bills could purchase the shares, the gold and silver of the realm flowed into Law's bank. Law and the regent had, therefore, the fabrication of both shares and bank bills to an indefinite amount. ...
— A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon - For the Use of Schools and Colleges • John Lord

... mental revolt had been vague, indefinite, and formless; perhaps he had thought that in course of time it would pass away and he would grow reconciled to the new order of things, particularly if the young Inca should show himself properly willing to submit to the guiding hand of the Council of Seven, as represented by its late ...
— Harry Escombe - A Tale of Adventure in Peru • Harry Collingwood

... hopeful prognosis of Captain Stryker, his unaccredited passenger was not "better" when, after a period of oblivious rest indefinite in duration, he awoke. His subsequent assumption of listless resignation, of pacific acquiescence in the dictates of his destiny, was purely deceptive—thin ice of despair over ...
— The Black Bag • Louis Joseph Vance

... advocate any thing so preposterous as the change of the whole animate power of Great Britain into inanimate, though in this the political economist can see the solution of all our Malthusian difficulties to an indefinite extent and duration. What we urge is merely the partial adoption of the thing to such an extent as will relax the present pressure, and restore us to a wholesome state of national prosperity. This will occasion no dangerous experiment, and will be gradually followed up by a progressive conversion, ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 20. No. 568 - 29 Sept 1832 • Various

... her gipsy wildness, she had a trace of her father's parsimony, and she hated to spend money that was her very own. Some of the dimes and quarters in that little purse had been there for ages. Besides, her treasury would have to sustain her for an indefinite period. ...
— We Can't Have Everything • Rupert Hughes

... a sea-level canal will but slightly increase the risk and will take but little longer than a multilock high-level canal, this, of course, is preferable. But if to adopt the plan of a sea-level canal means to incur great hazard and to incur indefinite delay, then ...
— The American Type of Isthmian Canal - Speech by Hon. John Fairfield Dryden in the Senate of the - United States, June 14, 1906 • John Fairfield Dryden

... Palatine to the Lateran. This was one of those subtle changes which escape notice until after some of their effects have attracted attention. The most important effect, in this instance, realized after three centuries, was not the overthrow of Roman power in the West, but its indefinite extension and expansion. The men of 476 not only had no idea that they were entering upon a new era, but least of all did they dream that the Roman Empire had come to an end, or was ever likely to. Its cities might be pillaged, its provinces overrun, but the supreme imperial ...
— The Beginnings of New England - Or the Puritan Theocracy in its Relations to Civil and Religious Liberty • John Fiske

... zeal for improvement, is found in Luke viii. 46, which he translates, "Some one touched me; for I perceived a power going from me." The common version, "Somebody touched me; for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me," is clear and precise; Mr. Sawyer's version, "a power," is more indefinite and less forcible. Any intelligent reader will at once perceive that the common version is the better, and that Mr. Sawyer's improved rendering is ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 17, March, 1859 • Various

... turned up again after five years' disappearance, still less in his speedy arrival. Moreover, in the "officer's" first letter which had been shown to Mitya, the possibility of his new rival's visit was very vaguely suggested. The letter was very indefinite, high-flown, and full of sentimentality. It must be noted that Grushenka had concealed from him the last lines of the letter, in which his return was alluded to more definitely. He had, besides, ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... "Would you ask a young lady to go out and bury herself alive in such a country as that, or ask her to wait an indefinite number of years till the young man should return? Why it is simply monstrous." And Mrs. Fairbanks fixed her glasses firmly on her nose and gazed at Brown as if she would ...
— The Prospector - A Tale of the Crow's Nest Pass • Ralph Connor

... way home, and sat up to pity him, looking through the soft May starlight to see the lamp burning steadily at his window until after midnight. From that time I seemed to have a trouble,—though I could scarcely have named or owned it, it was so indefinite. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 5, No. 28, February, 1860 • Various

... not directly due to the form. Now such part of our response to a picture as is directly induced by the form, we have a right to include in the aesthetic experience. It will, however, in every work of art of even the least complexity, be expressible only as a mood, very indefinite, often indescribable. To make this "meaning," then, the essential aim of ...
— The Psychology of Beauty • Ethel D. Puffer

... immense number of years and of ages during which the faunas of thirty or more epochs have succeeded one another, and developed their long succession of generations. Now the reviewer declares that such indefinite succession of ages is "virtually infinite," "lacks no characteristic of eternity except its name,"—at least, that "the difference between such a conception and that of the strictly infinite, if any, is not appreciable." But infinity ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. VI.,October, 1860.—No. XXXVI. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... the worst; and she therefore resolved that it would be her duty to make her father understand that though she would certainly obey him, she would look to be treated humanely by him, and not to be made miserable for an indefinite term of years. ...
— The Duke's Children • Anthony Trollope

... The converse inference could hardly be held with justice. If a man has thought out a plan which a woman is to execute, its fundamental lines are wiped out and the woman permits the productive aspect of the matter to disappear, or to become so indefinite that any sure conclusion on ...
— Robin Hood • J. Walker McSpadden

... at Norway House, Harry Somerville and his friend Hamilton found that they were to remain at that establishment during an indefinite period of time, until it should please those in whose hands their ultimate destination lay to direct them how and where to proceed. This was an unlooked-for trial of their patience; but after the first exclamation of disappointment, ...
— The Young Fur Traders • R.M. Ballantyne

... to see her—and hear her fiddle once more, if she's game for an indefinite dose of my society. Anyway, ...
— Far to Seek - A Romance of England and India • Maud Diver

... ever more gigantic as they became more distant, Sam Bolton caught the solidity of something moving. The object was as yet indefinite, mysterious, flashing momentarily into view and into eclipse as the tree-trunks intervened or the shadows flickered. The woodsman did not stir; only his eyes narrowed with attention. Then a branch snapped, noisy, carelessly ...
— The Silent Places • Stewart Edward White

... act 1690, indicted and appointed the first general assembly, as a specimen of their Erastian power over their newly constituted church; and it has ever since been the practice of the sovereign, to call, dissolve and adjourn her assemblies at his pleasure, and sometimes to an indefinite time. It is further observable, that the king's commission to his representative in assembly, runs in a style that evidently discovers, that he looks upon the assembly's power and right of constitution ...
— Act, Declaration, & Testimony for the Whole of our Covenanted Reformation, as Attained to, and Established in Britain and Ireland; Particularly Betwixt the Years 1638 and 1649, Inclusive • The Reformed Presbytery

... we try to realise their experience and the general character of their thought we shall cease to wonder. Their recorded history did not go back far, and so far as it did go there had been no impressive series of new discoveries suggesting either an indefinite increase of knowledge or a growing mastery of the forces of nature. In the period in which their most brilliant minds were busied with the problems of the universe men might improve the building of ships, ...
— The Idea of Progress - An Inquiry Into Its Origin And Growth • J. B. Bury

... have proved that he had motive, means, opportunity, and all that, but it is only indefinite evidence. If he would but tell where he was on Tuesday night, he could so easily free himself. Why ...
— The Gold Bag • Carolyn Wells

... succeeded in recapturing the flavour of those days. Happiness is a thing so vague, so indefinite, so dependent on a thousand little turns of the events of the day, that it only visits the most fortunate and at rare intervals, but Sam thought that he and Sue touched almost ideal happiness constantly during that time. There were weeks and even months of their first ...
— Windy McPherson's Son • Sherwood Anderson

... affiliate with others of his class so as to constitute a society, but indulges his pretensions individually. A Wb[)e]n[-o] is primarily prompted by dreams or visions which may occur during his youth, for which purpose he leaves his village to fast for an indefinite number of days. It is positively affirmed that evil manid[-o]s favor his desires, and apart from his general routine of furnishing "hunting medicine," "love powders," etc., he pretends also to practice medical magic. When a hunter has been successful through the supposed ...
— Seventh Annual Report • Various

... resulted had she remained. As the distance lengthened between himself and the mill, Bob was conscious of some cooling down of the excitement that had prompted him to set out; but he did not pause in his walk till he had reached the head of the river which fed the mill-stream. Here, for some indefinite reason, he allowed his eyes to be attracted by the bubbling spring whose waters never failed or lessened, and he stopped as if to look longer at the scene; it was really because his mind was so absorbed by ...
— The Trumpet-Major • Thomas Hardy

... point of view, it is certain that the padres regarded them as ignorant, vile, incapable, and totally lost without the restraining and educating influences of the Church. As year after year opened up the complexities of the situation, the padres became more and more convinced that it would require an indefinite period of time to develop these untamed children into law-abiding citizens, according to the standard of the white ...
— The Old Franciscan Missions Of California • George Wharton James

... agreement on the question what principle is really involved. Those who see a proposal as a thin end of a wedge always see the principle as a wider, more inclusive one, than those who make the proposal; and what gives them freedom so to see it is merely the fact that it remains indefinite.[5] ...
— The Making of Arguments • J. H. Gardiner

... but only in his capacity as god of light, he being considered the source and fountain of all light, and their children were Eos (Aurora), the Dawn, and Hemera, the Daylight. Nyx again, on her side was also doubly united, having been married at some indefinite period to Erebus. ...
— Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome • E.M. Berens

... pierced with the usual holes for the escape of water. The receptacles are non-porous and may be placed on tables and columns, or they can be employed in halls and corridors without the slightest risk of injury. The fibre is perfectly clean to handle, odourless, and remains sweet for an indefinite period. ...
— The Culture of Vegetables and Flowers From Seeds and Roots, 16th Edition • Sutton and Sons

... Trafalgar Square, and I saw by Big Ben that it was a quarter to six. I could not drive through London with her for an indefinite period. Besides, my half past ...
— The Morals of Marcus Ordeyne • William J. Locke

... that I should not have any, or any trousseau, for an indefinite time, as nothing was settled yet. This damped ...
— Red Hair • Elinor Glyn

... indefinite, but Margaret felt that something more was coming, of a nature which Mrs. Rushmore considered fortunate in the extreme, and in a short time she had learned the news, but with no mention of ...
— Fair Margaret - A Portrait • Francis Marion Crawford

... valid against it. You may have to play nicely over some intricate legal points. But, remember, nigger law is wonderfully elastic; it requires superhuman wisdom to unravel its social and political intricacies, and when I view it through the horoscope of an indefinite future it makes my very head ache. You may, however, let your claim revert to another, and traverse the case until such time as you can procure reliable proof to convict." Mr. Scranton asserts this as the force of his legal and constitutional acumen. He addresses himself ...
— Our World, or, The Slaveholders Daughter • F. Colburn Adams

... reproduced on a larger scale in the long, narrow counties ranged along the lower St. Lawrence, whose shape points to the old fluvial nuclei of settlement. Similarly the early Dutch grants on the Hudson gave to the patroons four miles along the river and an indefinite extension back from the stream. In the early Connecticut River settlements, the same consideration of a share in the river and its alluvial bottoms distributed the town lots among the inhabitants in long narrow strips running back from ...
— Influences of Geographic Environment - On the Basis of Ratzel's System of Anthropo-Geography • Ellen Churchill Semple

... And the Blunts were Americans. But so little! That was the trouble. Captain Blunt might have been a Frenchman as far as languages, tones, and manners went. But you could not have mistaken him for one. . . . Why? You couldn't tell. It was something indefinite. It occurred to me while I was towelling hard my hair, face, and the back of my neck, that I could not meet J. K. Blunt on equal terms in any relation of life except perhaps arms in hand, and in preference with pistols, which are less intimate, ...
— The Arrow of Gold - a story between two notes • Joseph Conrad

... ourselves that this really is the season of love and sentiment; and when the month ripens into June, when the grass beneath our feet actually deserves the name of a carpet, when the trees are rich and umbrageous, when the birds are in full song, and the roses in full blow—then the hitherto indefinite longing of our heart acquires strength and purpose. The dry streets look unnatural; the formal lines of houses offend the taste; the air is close and hot; the younger children look pale, and their elder sisters ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 439 - Volume 17, New Series, May 29, 1852 • Various

... (judges are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the National Council of the Judiciary for an indefinite period); Constitutional Tribunal (judges are chosen by ...
— The 2007 CIA World Factbook • United States

... and did not seem to care to talk; but this much was settled, that the student should board in her house for an indefinite time, while things ...
— Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen • Hans Christian Andersen

... if we keep nearly all the gold and Europe cannot pay for reestablishing its economic life, there may be a world-wide panic for an indefinite period. ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume II • Burton J. Hendrick

... went smoothly; others moved close to the shore, bumping against points of land, and some were left behind in the still waters of the creeks. On the lakes there were so many logs that they covered the entire surface of the water. These appeared to be lodged for an indefinite period. At the bridges they stuck; in the falls they were bunched, then they were pyramided and broken in two; afterward, in the rapids, they were blocked by the stones and massed into ...
— The Wonderful Adventures of Nils • Selma Lagerlof

... delicious snugness, a charming lack of formality, about the ceremony of afternoon tea in an English country-house—it is much too indefinite a rite to dignify it by the name of meal—which makes it the most pleasant reunion of the day. For English country-house parties consist, for the most part, of a succession of meals to which the guests flock the more congenially as, ...
— The Yellow Streak • Williams, Valentine

... figures; but if 320 were to be taken from this sum, the removal of the equivalent letters cb would leave bdea, or apparently no more than 2451. The invention of a cipher at once beautifully simplified the notation, and facilitated its indefinite extension. It was then no longer necessary to have one character for units and another for as many tens. The substitution of 00 for cb, so as to write bdeooa, kept the d in its place, and therefore still indicating 40,000. It was thus that 27, 207, and 270 were made distinguishable at once, without ...
— Notes & Queries, No. 27. Saturday, May 4, 1850 • Various

... feeble stand gave way altogether, and Mr. Piper's objections were demolished before he had given them full utterance. Mrs. Berry went off alone after dinner, secretly glad to have got rid of Mr. Piper, who was making a self-invited stay at her house of indefinite duration; and Mr. Piper, in his new role of broker's man, essayed the part with as much help as a clay pipe and a pint of ...
— Light Freights • W. W. Jacobs

... through the open French window, and instantly that haunting ghost of an indefinite recollection was laid. Evadne was sleeping in a high-backed chair, with the creeper-curtained old brick wall for a background, and half her face concealed by a large summer hat which ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... as I have been able to obtain any information on the subject, are exceedingly vague and indefinite. That they do not regard the grave as man's final resting place, may, however, be fairly concluded, from the superstition I have just alluded to, and that they believe in invisible and superior powers—objects of dread and fear, rather than veneration or love—has been testified in Captain Grey's ...
— Discoveries in Australia, Volume 1. • J Lort Stokes

... traders of Larnaca were shortly relieved of their Custom House troubles by the total absence of imports. The native Cypriote does not purchase at European shops; his wants are few; the smallest piece of soap will last an indefinite period; he is frugal to an extreme degree; and if he has desires, he curbs such temptations and hoards his coin. Thus, as the natives did not purchase, and all Europeans were sellers without buyers, there was no alternative but to shut the shutters. ...
— Cyprus, as I Saw it in 1879 • Sir Samuel W. Baker

... boundary with Uruguay is in dispute; short section of the boundary with Chile is indefinite; claims British-administered Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas); claims British-administered South Georgia and the South Sandwich ...
— The 1991 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... has forced man into new and more complex paths of progress. Lacking the spirit of research, a nation or community is merely parasitic, living upon the vital achievements of others, as Rome based her civilization upon the civilization of the Greeks. Only an indefinite and sterile refinement of the existing environment is possible under such circumstances, and humanity stays stationary or sinks back into the semibarbarism ...
— Popular Science Monthly Volume 86

... moroseness which showed that his striking resemblance to a gentleman was not kept for the footlights, the two others sat on a divan in the part of the room furthest from the entrance, so that it gave them a degree of privacy, and Miriam watched the coming and going of their fellow-visitors and the indefinite people, attached to the theatre, hanging about, while her companion gave a name to some of ...
— The Tragic Muse • Henry James

... records these various works as Manila imprints of unknown date, and to this indefinite information about them we can add nothing positive. However, it is apparent that some time before 1606, when Nieva died on his way to Mexico, he had had books printed, and since they were in Chinese they must have been ...
— Doctrina Christiana • Anonymous

... himself 'Nipe' or 'Neep', but we don't know whether that refers to him as an individual or as a member of his race. Since Russian lacks both definite and indefinite articles, it is possible that he was calling himself 'a Nipe' or 'the Nipe'. Certainly ...
— Anything You Can Do ... • Gordon Randall Garrett

... anything, and that in his will, whenever he should make it, she would find herself his sole legatee. On neither side of the water, said he, had he any one to whom the law obliged him to leave his property nor, indeed, any large wealth; only a little money in bank—a very indefinite statement. In 1855 ...
— Strange True Stories of Louisiana • George Washington Cable



Words linked to "Indefinite" :   indecisive, indefinite integral, vague, unfixed, undefined, unclear, indefiniteness, one, definite, coy, indistinct, uncertain, nebulous, noncommittal, indefinity



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