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Indeterminate   /ˌɪndɪtˈərmɪnɪt/   Listen
Indeterminate

adjective
1.
Not precisely determined or established; not fixed or known in advance.  Synonym: undetermined.  "A zillion is a large indeterminate number" , "An indeterminate point of law" , "The influence of environment is indeterminate" , "An indeterminate future"
2.
Having a capacity for continuing to grow at the apex.
3.
Of uncertain or ambiguous nature.
4.
Not capable of being determined.
5.
Not leading to a definite ending or result.



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"Indeterminate" Quotes from Famous Books



... assurance; speculation, gaming &c. 621. V. chance, hap, turn up; fall to one's lot; be one's -fate &c. 601; stumble on light upon; take one's chance &c. 621. Adj. casual, fortuitous, accidental, adventitious, causeless, incidental, contingent, uncaused, undetermined, indeterminate; random, statistical; possible &c. 470; unintentional &c. 621. Adv. by chance, accidentally, by accident; casually; perchance &c. (possibly) 470; for aught one knows; as good would have it, as bad ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... orbits to be derived from observation. The time which we may suppose to be represented algebraically by the symbol t, would remain as an unknown quantity to the end. What the mathematician sought to do was to present the astronomer with a series of algebraic expressions containing t as an indeterminate quantity, and so, by simply substituting for t any year and fraction of a year whatever—1600, 1700, 1800, for example, the result would give the latitude, longitude, or radius-vector of ...
— Side-lights on Astronomy and Kindred Fields of Popular Science • Simon Newcomb

... became silent. But soon there arose from somewhere, from some indeterminate direction, which might have been the cellar as well as the attic, a powerful monotonous snore, a deep and prolonged noise, like the throbbing of a boiler ...
— Mademoiselle Fifi • Guy de Maupassant

... incoherence. All experience does not show that 'drowned bodies' require from six to ten days for sufficient decomposition to take place to bring them to the surface. Both science and experience show that the period of their rising is, and necessarily must be, indeterminate. If, moreover, a body has risen to the surface through firing of cannon, it will not 'sink again if let alone,' until decomposition has so far progressed as to permit the escape of the generated gas. But I wish to ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 1 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... null would have been absurd. But, as it is, the concept of a causality free from empirical conditions, although empty, i.e., without any appropriate intuition), is yet theoretically possible, and refers to an indeterminate object; but in compensation significance is given to it in the moral law and consequently in a practical sense. I have, indeed, no intuition which should determine its objective theoretic reality, but not the less it has a real application, which is exhibited ...
— The Critique of Practical Reason • Immanuel Kant

... says again, in the personal interests of the prisoners, that any evasion give place to serious punition (minima) fortnight of rigourous imprisonment after that they go in the "Strafbaracke" for an indeterminate time. ...
— Three Times and Out • Nellie L. McClung

... I have had a fancy for boats, and have seldom been without a share, usually more or less fractional, in a rather indeterminate number of punts and wherries. But when, for the first time, I found myself at sea as Commodore of a fleet of armed steamers,—for even the Ben De Ford boasted a six-pounder or so,—it seemed rather ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 90, April, 1865 • Various

... determined, and can not be, though Douglas Campbell has maintained that to the Dutch, and not to the English Puritan, nor yet to the Magna Charta, does the American Republic owe its chief debt. The theme is productive and stimulative and worthy, though the facts are indeterminate. America is attached to the Dutch Republic as a bold attempt whose failure was nobler than many successes. The Puritan exodus from Holland, when Pastor John Robinson prayed, preached, and prophesied, is one of the most thrilling events recorded of the seventeenth ...
— A Hero and Some Other Folks • William A. Quayle

... against him that he was more anxious to make than to use a splendid army, and possibly his ideals of efficiency were too high for those early days. Yet "Little Mac" was idolized by his soldiers, with whom he fought and won bloody battles, and even the indeterminate ones are held in doubt as to his responsibility. Had Hooker obeyed his command, and crossed the bridge at Antietam and occupied the heights beyond, soldiers think to-day that Lee would have been crushed. Another fact was ...
— The Battle of Principles - A Study of the Heroism and Eloquence of the Anti-Slavery Conflict • Newell Dwight Hillis

... we have here is, to start with, content under the form of substance. Even when we say, "God," "spirit," we have only words, indeterminate representations. The essential point is to know what has been produced in the consciousness. And that is, first, the simple, the abstract. Here, in this first simple determination, we have God only under the form ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... was, the world of Homer, with its indeterminate boundaries, vast regions, and immeasurable distances. The Mediterranean and the Euxine were illimitable stretches of ocean waste over which years could be spent in endless wandering. On their mysterious shores were the improbable homes of impossible peoples. The Great Sea, the Broad Sea, the ...
— Revolution and Other Essays • Jack London

... illustrated the general methods of solving equations up to those of the fourth degree (and believed that his method could go beyond), stated the law which connects the positive and negative roots of an equation with the changes of sign in the consecutive terms, and introduced the method of indeterminate coefficients for the solution of equations.[28] These innovations have been attributed on inadequate evidence to other algebraists, e.g. William Oughtred ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 2 - "Demijohn" to "Destructor" • Various

... I." The miller laughed uneasily. But for the corrugations of time, one might not have known if it were flour or age that had so whitened his long beard, which hung quivering down over the breast of his jeans coat, of an indeterminate hue under its frosting from the hopper. "He hev tuk up a ...
— The Raid Of The Guerilla - 1911 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... intermediate period which may be called the epoch of life. Before the epoch of life begins there is in the given world no such form of existence. There is matter only. Then at a certain stage the epoch of life begins. The epoch of life continues for a vast indeterminate period. No doubt in some of the worlds an epoch of life has been provided ten times as great, possibly a thousand times as great, as in other planets. After the epoch of life begins only certain forms of existence are for a while possible. Then ...
— Notable Events of the Nineteenth Century - Great Deeds of Men and Nations and the Progress of the World • Various

... whose features were usually forgotten in the impression made by her great cheeks and falling jowls. If the small eyes rested on you, you found them sinister and strange, but if they were turned elsewhere, you asked in what lay the power of the face, and sought in vain amid its long wrinkles and indeterminate lines for the secret of that spiritual and bodily repulsion which the least look into this impassive countenance was calculated to produce. She was a woman of immense means, and an oppressive consciousness ...
— Room Number 3 - and Other Detective Stories • Anna Katharine Green

... restless and wakeful, and between her dreamy dozes she was incessant in her hints for a consultation to Grace, who passed the night in her room, and watched every change for the worse with a self-accusing heart. The impending trouble was in that indeterminate phase which must give the physician his most anxious moments; and this inexperienced girl; whose knowledge was all to be applied, and who had hardly arrived yet at that dismaying stage when a young physician finds all the results at war with all the precepts, began ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... as a convict, who has just heard that his sentence is for life, might gaze at the walls of his cell. It was a low-ceiled room, with an uneven floor, cheap woodwork, painted in an unsuccessful imitation of natural wood, and walls hung with faded paper of an indeterminate pattern and even more indeterminate color. To-day it was in greater confusion than usual, with white dust thick on table and chair, a window-shade askew, the music-rack disarranged, and a plate of ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908 • Various

... side of it. For instance. Here's a little thing I can't quite see the end of. Listen! 'Of the domain which Britannia rules by sufferance, my gross captain, knew nothing, and his Navigator, if possible, less. From the bestial recriminations and the indeterminate chaos of the grand deck, I ascended—always with a whisky-and-soda in my hands—to a scene truly grotesque. Behold my captain in plain sea, at issue with his Navigator! A crisis of nerves due to the ...
— Traffics and Discoveries • Rudyard Kipling

... front door, looks back, and beckons. She is followed by DAN, who saunters past her into the room. He is a young fellow wearing a blue pill-box hat, uniform trousers, a jacket too small for him, and bicycle-clips: the stub of a cigarette dangles between his lips. He speaks with a rough accent, indeterminate, but ...
— Night Must Fall • Williams, Emlyn

... experiences broadened and deepened, the indeterminate, poetic feelings of childhood began to fix themselves in definite thoughts. Nature—the world I could touch—was folded and filled with myself. I am inclined to believe those philosophers who declare ...
— The World I Live In • Helen Keller

... descend with such gentle slopes, that the valleys between them are extensive and flat. Several contain an indeterminate depth of rich soil, capable of supporting the most exhausting vegetation, and are tolerably well watered by chains of small ponds, or occasional drains, which empty themselves into the river by a ...
— An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. 2 • David Collins

... most of the next day in smoking an indeterminate quantity of cigars in his study window, and so got through the hours till he could dress and go to the Hotel de Langeais. To anyone who had known the magnificent worth of the man, it would have ...
— The Thirteen • Honore de Balzac

... emerged from the mist and chaos of utter bewilderment, as reason crept haltingly back to her seat, his first blind and indeterminate rage fell away from him. His first black and blinding clouds of suspicion slowly subsided before practical and orderly question and cross-question. Thought adjusted itself to its new environment. Painfully, yet cautiously, he directed his ceaseless ...
— Phantom Wires - A Novel • Arthur Stringer

... and finally laws protecting the individual against himself, such as liquor and anti-cigarette or anti-cocaine laws. It is hardly necessary to more than illustrate some of these matters. Then there are the laws regulating punishment for crime, laws for probation or parole, indeterminate sentences, etc., all based on the modern theory that reform, not retribution or even prevention, is the basis of penology. Such laws have been held constitutional, even when their result is to arbitrarily ...
— Popular Law-making • Frederic Jesup Stimson

... here he ran through half a dozen of the two score theories which the history of ethics presents, rare work with Plato and Aristotle, Hobbes, Cudworth, Mandeville, and Bentham. "Meantime," he concluded, "we do see, in point of fact, that the moral rule is most flexible, and to an indeterminate degree the creature of association, custom, and education, so that I am inclined to think that that alone is obligatory which the positive laws and institutions of any society render binding." "So that" cried Harrington, "a man both may and ought to thieve in ancient Sparta, may expose his parents ...
— The Eclipse of Faith - Or, A Visit To A Religious Sceptic • Henry Rogers

... as glowing as any princess of balladry. She was waiting for the fairy prince, though he seemed likely to be nothing more decorative than a salesman in a brown derby. She was fluid; indeterminate as ...
— The Job - An American Novel • Sinclair Lewis

... neuter gender. Brahma is alone, unchangeable in the midst of creation: all emanates from him, he comprehends all, but he remains extraneous to all: he is Being and the negation of beings. Brahma is never worshipped; the indeterminate Being is never invoked; he is inaccessible to the prayers as the actions of man; humanity, as well as nature, is extraneous to him. External to Brahma rises the Trimurti, that is to say, Brahma (masculine) the power which creates, ...
— The Ramayana • VALMIKI

... pursued in ranking other organic beings as species. But it is a hopeless endeavour to decide this point, until some definition of the term "species" is generally accepted; and the definition must not include an indeterminate element such as an act of creation. We might as well attempt without any definition to decide whether a certain number of houses should be called a village, town, or city. We have a practical illustration of the difficulty ...
— The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex • Charles Darwin

... writer's attack was the grim sarcasm for such methods of thievery as are kept within the law. That phrase held the girl's fancy, and she read the article again with a quickened interest. Then, she began to meditate. She herself was in a curious, indeterminate attitude as far as concerned the law. It was the law that had worked the ruin of her life, which she had striven to make wholesome. In consequence, she felt for the law no genuine respect, only detestation as for the epitome of injustice. ...
— Within the Law - From the Play of Bayard Veiller • Marvin Dana

... names of these four were later stricken out. They were so nearly white that their race was indeterminate. They remained in the house after the others were expelled.—Thompson, Reconstruction in Georgia, p. 213; House Journal Georgia Legislature, ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 5, 1920 • Various

... an arbitrary standard for that dignity which Parliament had defined and limited to a legal standard. They gave themselves, under the lax and indeterminate idea of the honour of the Crown, a full loose for all manner of dissipation, and all manner of corruption. This arbitrary standard they were not afraid to hold out to both Houses; while an idle and inoperative Act of Parliament, estimating the dignity of the Crown ...
— Thoughts on the Present Discontents - and Speeches • Edmund Burke

... quarter of the globe. "The Negrito" (i.e., pigmy black) "type," says the authority whom I have just quoted, and to whom I shall have to be still further indebted,[A] "was first placed in South Asia, which it without doubt occupied alone during an indeterminate period. It is thence that its diverse representatives have radiated, and, some going east, some west, have given rise to the black populations of Melanesia and Africa. In particular, India and Indo-China first belonged to the blacks. Invasions and infiltrations of different yellow ...
— A Philological Essay Concerning the Pygmies of the Ancients • Edward Tyson

... remember much of what I said, but if I may take the evidence of Sylvia, who remembered everything, I spoke effectively. I told them, for one thing, the story of little Angelo Patri. Little Angelo was of that indeterminate Italian age where he helped to support a drunken father without regard to the child-labour laws of the State of New Jersey. His people were tenants upon a fruit-farm a couple of miles from the glass-factory, and little Angelo walked to and from ...
— Sylvia's Marriage • Upton Sinclair

... so familiar to us in English greenhouses—hung their long trumpet-shaped flowers and looked oppressed and miserable, beneath the burning breath of the hot wind which had been blowing for hours like the draught from a volcano. The grass, too, near the wide roadway that stretched in a feeble and indeterminate fashion across the veldt, forking, branching, and reuniting like the veins on a lady's arm, was completely coated over with a thick layer of red dust. But the hot wind was going down now, as it always does towards sunset. Indeed, all that remained ...
— Jess • H. Rider Haggard

... where the star-shine was showing the grim skeleton of the shaft-work overhead in the night, and where men moved about below in the indeterminate dark like dismal gnomes. There was a woman whose cry, when Welsby died, was like ...
— Old Junk • H. M. Tomlinson

... been an indeterminate period in a blank fog for Orne, then a time of pain and the gradual realization that he was in a creche. Had to be. He could remember his sudden exposure on Heleb, the explosion—then nothing. Good old creche. It made him feel safe now, ...
— Operation Haystack • Frank Patrick Herbert

... at his kindness in coming. He looked considerably older than his age; his hair had grown thin and grey about his temples, and the sharp birdlike outline of his face and features seemed blurred and indeterminate. His creed too, and his whole manner of looking at things of faith, seemed to have undergone a similar process. The two had a ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... voice; which is, in its halts, accelerations and retardations, emphases and concessions, the apotheosis of conversation. But this clearness,—in the sublime sense, including the ornate and the subtle,—this luminous lucidity,— is it not quite indeterminate? Clearness is said of a medium. WHAT is it ...
— The Psychology of Beauty • Ethel D. Puffer

... In such parts too, is the determination of the factor most difficult, and because of the "rule-of-thumb" determination frequently necessary, the factor of safety becomes in reality a factor of ignorance. As opposed to such indeterminate factors of safety, in the Babcock & Wilcox boiler, when the factor of safety for the drum or drums has been determined, and such a factor may be determined accurately, the factors for all other portions of the pressure parts are greatly in excess of ...
— Steam, Its Generation and Use • Babcock & Wilcox Co.

... to the matter in hand is hurried on with swifter progress than in real life; over the whole, viz., the situations and characters, a certain clearness and distinctness of appearance is thrown, which the vague and indeterminate outlines of reality seldom possess. Thus the form constitutes the poetic element of Comedy, while its prosaic principle lies in the matter, in the required assimilation ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel

... for the servant merely bowed and departed, without relieving him of hat and coat. Indeterminate, he stood, vaguely conscious of misgiving and questioning the stillness of the great house. But almost immediately a young man entered whose face expressed the utmost concern. He was clean-shaven, except for those frustrated whiskers once sacred to stage butlers, but latterly adopted ...
— The Orchard of Tears • Sax Rohmer

... refreshment station for vessels en route for China, India, and the seas circumflowing; and foreign trade, therefore, as much concerned in the guilt of its expense as colonial traffic. The amount of charge, therefore, although remaining to be deducted from the colonial head, may be left as a neutral indeterminate item. But the military expenses for Singapore, Penang, and Malacca, about L.80,000, cannot be for colonial account at all, because stations merely for carrying on foreign trade, against which chargeable, with the civil establishments ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 335, September 1843 • Various

... and her powers of self-discipline that she was fairly orderly, though she had great difficulty in being so. Without a constant struggle, she would have had loose plaits and hanging strings about her always. Lucy's trimness was a perpetual marvel to her. It was like the contrast between the soft indeterminate lines of her charming face and Lucy's ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... employed for the purpose of effective suggestion should be simple and unobtrusive. If it be complex and obtrusive, it defeats "the purpose of playing" by exaggerating for the spectator the inevitable interval between the visionary and indeterminate limits of the scene which the poet imagines, and the cramped and narrow bounds, which the stage renders practicable. That perilous interval can only be effectually bridged by scenic art, which is applied with an apt judgment and a light hand. Anything that aims at doing more than ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... granules, of indeterminate shape and size, Y, for inorganic matters, such as the salts of bone and teeth, and Z, to stand as a symbol of the fluids, and you have the letters of what I have ventured to call the alphabet ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... torments"; and the spirits of the faithful pass to rest and joy. But between these two representatives in the narrative, the one of the evil, the other of the good, there are the multitudes who are neither very good nor very evil, so varied in the indeterminate tokens of good and evil which marked their lives on earth, that it would seem to be impossible for us to know on which side of "the great gulf" their position ought to be. But if the extremes enter the Intermediate State, and there is room ...
— The Life of the Waiting Soul - in the Intermediate State • R. E. Sanderson

... their talk together on the deserted railway platform—as though some intangible barrier between them had been broken down. She could not put into actual words the thought which flitted fugitively through her mind—it was too vague and indeterminate. Only she was subconsciously aware that some change had taken place—that their relation to each ...
— The Vision of Desire • Margaret Pedler

... soul of what had once been a man; and when it was over Denver Russell was a Number with eighteen years before him. Eighteen years more or less, according to his conduct, for the laws of the State of Arizona imposed an indeterminate sentence which might be varied to fit any case. As Murray had intimated, under the new prison law a man could be paroled the day after he was sentenced, though he were in for ninety-nine years. That was the law, ...
— Silver and Gold - A Story of Luck and Love in a Western Mining Camp • Dane Coolidge

... the sharp smell of ozone. His whole body was tingling with electric tension. The bluish light seemed to be in indeterminate lumps scattered over the rocky floor. The rush of the wind under that tremendous vault ...
— A World is Born • Leigh Douglass Brackett

... importance which is directly due to woman suffrage may be summed up as follows: Equal guardianship of children; raising the "age of protection" for girls from 16 to 18 years; establishment of a State Home for Dependent Children; a State Industrial School for Girls; indeterminate sentence for criminals; a State Arbitration Board; open meetings of school boards; the removal of emblems from ballots; placing drinking fountains on the corners of most of ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV • Various

... language, which does not admit of such an expression as "full score", but would require the insertion of the particle "a", which cannot be, on account of the metre. And this is another great artifice of the poet. By leaving the quantity of beating indeterminate, he gives every reader the liberty to administer it, in exact proportion to the sum of indignation which he may have conceived against his hero, that by thus amply satisfying their resentment they may be the more easily ...
— English Satires • Various

... or personal enemy, for I believe you are convinced we have not merited it either by our discourse or our actions: if we had, the charge would have been specific; but we have reason to imagine it is nothing more than the indeterminate and general charge of being aristocrates. I did not see my mother or sister all the day we were arrested, nor till the evening of the next: the one was engaged perhaps with "Rosine and the Angola", who were indisposed, and the other ...
— A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1795, • An English Lady

... cross-examination, to be sure, but before all accessible to complete and unreserved study. This would mean a substantial participation of law in the promotion of knowledge of facts and constructive activity, and a conception of indeterminate sentence not merely in the service of leniency but in the service of the best protection of the public, and, if necessary, lasting detention of those who cannot be reformed, before they have had to do their worst. ...
— A Psychiatric Milestone - Bloomingdale Hospital Centenary, 1821-1921 • Various

... accession of Henry VII. was not clearly defined. The House of Lords was but a small body. It comprised simply those lords, temporal and spiritual, who were entitled to receive from the king, when a parliament was to be held, a special writ, i.e., an individual summons. The number of these was indeterminate. The right of the archbishops, the bishops, and the abbots to be summoned was immemorial and indisputable, although the abbots in practice evaded their obligation of attendance, save in cases in which it could be shown that as military tenants of the crown ...
— The Governments of Europe • Frederic Austin Ogg

... displeased. There were droppings of food all down the front of his coat; the mouth under the ragged ill-grown beard drooped sullenly; the forehead was lined and contracted; and on the lean temples the hair was a dusty indeterminate colour that might or might not have been called gray. The utter misery and self-abandonment of the man appealed to her, and at the bottom of her heart lay the wicked feeling that he was humbled and brought low who ...
— The Light That Failed • Rudyard Kipling

... has likewise been much increased by a class of verbs too frequent in the English language, of which the signification is so loose and general, the use so vague and indeterminate, and the senses detorted so widely from the first idea, that it is hard to trace them through the maze of variation, to catch them on the brink of utter inanity, to circumscribe them by any limitations, or interpret them by any words of distinct and settled meaning; such ...
— Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books - with Introductions, Notes and Illustrations • Charles W. Eliot

... white shawl and seated herself on the old, high-backed sofa. Her dress was of some gauzy material of indeterminate tone, interwoven with gold tinsel, and a scarf of gauze embroidered with gold disguised what had seemed to her an over-liberal display of dazzling shoulders. Ian, absorbed in his work, hardly noticed his wife sitting in the penumbra, chin on hand, staring ...
— The Invader - A Novel • Margaret L. Woods

... be said with some confidence is, that the Saracen theory of Literature, like the Saracen theory of Architecture, so soon as it is carried beyond the advancing of a possible but slight and very indeterminate influence and colouring, has scarcely the slightest foundation in known facts, and is very difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile with facts that are known, while it is intrinsically improbable to the very highest degree. As has been pointed out ...
— The Flourishing of Romance and the Rise of Allegory - (Periods of European Literature, vol. II) • George Saintsbury

... unending questioning, {181} seemed to come to one insight after another. First he perceived that his conviction that life was meaningless took only this finite life into account. He was looking for the value of one finite term in that of another, and the whole result could only be one of those indeterminate equations in mathematics which end with infinity. Yet this is as far as the reasoning intellect by itself can go, unless irrational sentiment or faith brings in the infinite. Believe in the infinite as common people do, ...
— The Varieties of Religious Experience • William James

... the Method of Reformation.—The reformatory system includes three elements that are comparatively new. The first of these is the indeterminate sentence now generally in practice in the United States. According to this principle, the sentence of a prisoner is not for a fixed period, but maximum and minimum limits are set, and the actual length of imprisonment is determined by the record ...
— Society - Its Origin and Development • Henry Kalloch Rowe

... captain was in the forecross-trees, glass in hand, his eyes in every quarter, spying for an entrance, spying for signs of tenancy. But the isle continued to unfold itself in joints, and to run out in indeterminate capes, and still there was neither house nor man, nor the smoke of fire. Here a multitude of sea-birds soared and twinkled, and fished in the blue waters; and there, and for miles together, the fringe of cocoa-palm and pandanus extended ...
— The Ebb-Tide - A Trio And Quartette • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... that by this war was assured the dominance of the Anglo-Saxon political and legal tradition over the whole American continent north of the tropics, and that the same tradition shall, for a future yet indeterminate, decisively shape the course of India and the Philippines? The preceding war, 1739-1748, had been substantially inconclusive on the chief points at issue, because European questions intervening had diverted the attention of both ...
— Types of Naval Officers - Drawn from the History of the British Navy • A. T. Mahan

... novel? No rascals, no literature. You have your choice. Were we weak enough to consent to a sudden homogeneousness in virtue, many industrious persons would be thrown out of employment. The wife and mother, for example, with as indeterminate a number of children as the Martyr Rogers, who visits me monthly,—what claim would she have upon me, were not her husband forever taking to drink, or the penitentiary, or Spiritualism? The pusillanimous lapse ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 6, No. 38, December, 1860 • Various

... sprightly, in whom Gregory recognized the agitated mother of the pretty girl, evaded Miss Scrotton's extended hand and darted past her to place herself in front of Madame von Marwitz. She wore a large, box-like hat from which a blue veil hung. Her small features, indeterminate in form and incoherent in assemblage, expressed to an extraordinary degree determination and strategy. ...
— Tante • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... at this point, emerged from the sitting-room. He was a pale man, with a beard of mixed grey-and-drab, and a voice of the same indeterminate quality. ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... After an indeterminate interval, he was awakened by someone entering the room. It was fairly dark now and by lifting a head over the side of his berth, he saw the outline of the Frenchman standing by the door. Madden thought of the stolen medicine chest and ...
— The Cruise of the Dry Dock • T. S. Stribling

... who has at length found something to do will not need to get a new suit to do it in; for him the old will do, that has lain dusty in the garret for an indeterminate period. Old shoes will serve a hero longer than they have served his valet—if a hero ever has a valet—bare feet are older than shoes, and he can make them do. Only they who go to soires and legislative balls must have new coats, coats to change as often as the man ...
— Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience • Henry David Thoreau

... their intellect. Their emotions have overbalanced their reason in this field. Professor H. Levy, of the University of London, tersely remarks: "The assertion of contemporary scientists, who state that the universe is a fickle collection of indeterminate happenings, and a great thought in the Mind of its Architect, a Pure Mathematician, serves merely to divert the activity of the scientific brain from its concentration on the contradictions and confusions of the all too real outward world to a state of passive and unreal contemplation." ...
— The Necessity of Atheism • Dr. D.M. Brooks

... be one of those concerning which no physician can accurately calculate its duration or termination. It had, as diseases often have, its periods of such utter quiescence that it seemed as if it had entirely disappeared. It was not a year after Harry had received his indeterminate death sentence before he looked better than he had done for a long while. The color came back to his cheeks, his expression regained its youthful joyfulness. Everybody said that Harry Edgham was quite ...
— By the Light of the Soul - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... hard-edged as metal. Phoebe's eyes were brown, not of the opaque variety, but with the actually velvet look of a bee's body. The girls at school had told her her eyes looked good to stroke. Her nose was an indeterminate snub, her chin delightfully round but retreating, falling away from a mouth like a baby's—so fine in texture, so petal soft, so utterly helpless-looking, with its glint of two small square teeth. Only when she looked obstinate and closed her mouth ...
— Secret Bread • F. Tennyson Jesse

... extinction took place at about the 330th generation in Onychodromus grandis, at about the 320th generation in Stylonichia mytilis, at about the 330th generation in Leucophrys patula, and at about the 660th generation in Oxytricha (indeterminate). (Maupas, loc. cit., ...
— Sex and Society • William I. Thomas

... thoroughfare literally swarmed with vehicles of every kind, and on the sidewalks the pedestrians were so numerous that they looked like two indeterminate black ribbons unfurling their length from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde. A flood of sunlight played on this gay scene, making the varnish of the carriages, the steel of the harness and the handles of the carriage doors shine ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... Although somewhat indeterminate, the policy of the United States in respect to the landing of foreign submarine cables, so far, at least, as the executive branch of the government is concerned, appears to be based chiefly upon considerations that shall guard against consolidation or amalgamation ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 1157, March 5, 1898 • Various

... and at some indeterminate hour of the twenty-four, though whether it was night or noon he could not say, Ferriss woke in his sleeping-bag and raised himself on an elbow, and for a moment sat stupidly watching Bennett writing in his journal. Noticing ...
— A Man's Woman • Frank Norris

... unusual event, and one of immense significance in the expansion and development of the Republic. Together with the annexation of Texas, it was the most important result of the Mexican War. The California country, formerly an indeterminate territory of vast extent, was settled by Spanish missionaries in the seventeenth century. Their settlements within the present limits of the State of California date from the first foundation of San Diego in 1769. In 1822 the entire region called California ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 17 • Charles Francis Horne

... practical intelligence, which looks for some basis that cannot be argued about, there is still something to be said for Intuition. And when Mill, still in search of some precise formula, undertook to interpret persistent sequences by his theory of Real Kinds possessing an indeterminate number of coherent properties—so that our belief in the invariable blackness of crows is justified as a collocation of these visible properties—he merely throws the problem of Causation farther backward. We have to be content with direct observation of phenomena ...
— Studies in Literature and History • Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall

... since the flames of the African sunrise had spread to the zenith, glowing and terrible as a furnace. Although the sky was thus brilliantly illuminated, the earth, strangely enough, was still gray with twilight. Objects fifty yards distant were indeterminate. Objects farther away were lost. The light was daylight, but it was inadequate, as though ...
— The Leopard Woman • Stewart Edward White et al

... connecting links explicit in the form of relationships. The stimulus to thinking is found when we wish to determine the significance of some act, performed or to be performed. Then we anticipate consequences. This implies that the situation as it stands is, either in fact or to us, incomplete and hence indeterminate. The projection of consequences means a proposed or tentative solution. To perfect this hypothesis, existing conditions have to be carefully scrutinized and the implications of the hypothesis developed—an operation called reasoning. Then the suggested solution—the idea or ...
— Democracy and Education • John Dewey

... hand and switched on another lamp, in the hard brilliance of which the thing upon the pedestal suddenly declared itself, leaping out of the darkness into light. It was a terrible object, a monstrosity of indeterminate sex and nature, but surmounted by a woman's head and face of extraordinary, if devilish loveliness, sunk back between high but grotesquely small shoulders, like to those of a lizard, so that it glared upwards. The workmanship of the thing was rude yet strangely powerful. Whatever there is ...
— The Yellow God - An Idol of Africa • H. Rider Haggard

... established an arbitrary standard for that dignity which Parliament had defined and limited to a legal standard. They gave themselves, under the lax and indeterminate idea of the honor of the crown, a full loose for all manner of dissipation, and all manner of corruption. This arbitrary standard they were not afraid to hold out to both Houses; while an idle and unoperative act of Parliament, estimating the dignity of the crown ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. I. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... a struggle with herself. It showed plainly on the thin, anxious face. The lips compressed with determination, the eyes set, then wavered, and again the indeterminate lines of acquiescent subjection gained their accustomed ascendency. Back and forth assertion and complaisance fled and followed; only assertion ...
— Blue Goose • Frank Lewis Nason

... roses. She would never wear plain black like most women of her age. She was one of the blue-eyed women who looks well in lavender. Her blue eyes, now looking at her son from under the rich purples and lavenders of the velvet pansies on her bonnet, got an indeterminate color like myrtle blossoms. A deeper pink also showed on her cheeks because of ...
— The Debtor - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... detested the Spartans [n] were not strong enough to annihilate them, and those who had previously governed with the support of Sparta [n] were no longer able to maintain their control over their cities; but both these and all the other states were in a condition of indeterminate strife and confusion. {19} When Philip saw this (for it was not hard to see), he tried, by dispensing money to the traitors whom each state contained, to throw them all into collision and stir up one against another; and thus, amid the blunders and perversity of others, ...
— The Public Orations of Demosthenes, volume 2 • Demosthenes

... patience of a saint. Old Moze was a Missouri hound that Jones had procured in that State of uncertain qualities; and the dog had grown old over coon-trails. He was black and white, grizzled and battlescarred; and if ever a dog had an evil eye, Moze was that dog. He had a way of wagging his tail—an indeterminate, equivocal sort of wag, as if he realized his ugliness and knew he stood little chance of making friends, but was still hopeful and willing. As for me, the first time he manifested this evidence of a good heart under a rough ...
— The Last of the Plainsmen • Zane Grey

... indeterminate interval the four left the still, taking a bottle with them so that it might be had without delay, should they meet a snake or a hydrophobia skunk or some other venomous reptile. It was Casey who made the suggestion, and he became involved ...
— The Trail of the White Mule • B. M. Bower

... glass sphere, polished and flawless. Inside it could be made out various objects—a circular bench arrangement on a wooden flooring, batteries that filled the cup between the floor and the bottom arc of the sphere, tall metal cylinders, a small searchlight set next to a mechanism that was indeterminate. At three equidistant points on the sides there were glass handles, as thick as a man's thigh, cast integral with the walls. On the top ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science September 1930 • Various

... may take on the slippery surface, or when the root, thin as whipcord, of a certain fig-tree has crept across the face of the grey rock forming a ridge or barricade against which decayed vegetation accumulates, there the BAEA flourishes, displaying an indeterminate line of mauve flowers above oval, crimpled leaves. Mauve, green and grey—the mauve of the Victorian age, the green of the cowslip, the ...
— The Confessions of a Beachcomber • E J Banfield

... She gazed out of the window as if she was mildly impressed with a solicitude for the welfare of her garden. There flitted into her mind a wavering, indeterminate sort of notion that perhaps Lanigan was a better fellow than he used to be, and that if she should succeed in her great purpose it might not be necessary that he should go away. But still,—and here prudence ...
— The Squirrel Inn • Frank R. Stockton

... hardening of herself against his need of her. What if he should come down intending to speak, and should be turned from his purpose? Slighter obstacles have deflected the course of events in those indeterminate moments when the soul floats between two tides. She sprang up quickly, and as her hand touched the latch she heard his step on ...
— Sanctuary • Edith Wharton

... alone understood it as science: which he could never have done by the mere study of the law, and without a previous acquaintance with the art which teaches us to divide a whole into its subordinate parts, to, decide an indeterminate idea by an accurate definition: to explain what is obscure, by a clear interpretation; and first to discover what things are of a doubtful nature, then to distinguish them by their different degrees of probability; and lastly, to be provided ...
— Cicero's Brutus or History of Famous Orators; also His Orator, or Accomplished Speaker. • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... rocky and far from level. After two hours of riding on a small and wiry horse with no built-in springs, Hoddan hurt in a great many places he'd never known he owned. He and Thal rode in an indeterminate direction with an irregular scarp of low mountains silhouetted against the unfamiliar stars. A vagrant night-wind blew. Thal had said it was a three-hour ride to Don Loris' castle. After something over two of ...
— The Pirates of Ersatz • Murray Leinster

... the light of the shop-fronts, produced upon him the effect of a constant going and coming of spectres about him. There were strange noises in his ears; extraordinary fancies disturbed his brain. He saw neither houses, nor pavements, nor chariots, nor men and women, but a chaos of indeterminate objects whose edges melted into each other. At the corner of the Rue de la Barillerie, there was a grocer's shop whose porch was garnished all about, according to immemorial custom, with hoops of tin from which hung a circle of wooden candles, ...
— Notre-Dame de Paris - The Hunchback of Notre Dame • Victor Hugo

... vague and indeterminate about endeavoring to discover a lost pillow and Alice fell comfortably asleep again, nor did she awaken when Sally at last slipped out of the ...
— The Campfire Girls on the Field of Honor • Margaret Vandercook

... code of the convents provided for certain offences the punishment of flagellation, imprisonment in a dungeon for indeterminate periods, living on bread and water, and public confession of sins. The mildest punishment consisted in being compelled to eat off the ground, kneeling, at the hour of the refectory. The friar who by his conduct had become incorrigible, and worthy ...
— Roman Catholicism in Spain • Anonymous

... lectures on radium, or the probable exhaustion of the sun's energy, and have never learned the laws of motion. Few people estimate properly the evil of habitual intercourse with that which is vague and indeterminate. The issues before us not being clearly cut and comprehensible, the highest faculties of our minds are not exercised. We lazily wander over the surface without coming to a definite conclusion. Perhaps ...
— More Pages from a Journal • Mark Rutherford

... the Argo-Mayflower, usually bearing a name thus significant, and manifesting, even at her age, traits of character justifying the compellation. What that age precisely was, could not always be known; indeed, a lady's age is generally among indeterminate things; and it has, very properly, come to be considered ungallant, if not impertinent, to be curious upon so delicate a subject. A man has no more right to know how many years a woman has, than how many skirts she wears; and, if he have ...
— Western Characters - or Types of Border Life in the Western States • J. L. McConnel

... The indeterminate hum of life in the Thalia is enlivened by the discreet popping—at reasonable and salubrious intervals—of beer-bottle corks. Thus punctuated, life in the genial hostel scans easily—the comma being the favorite mark, semicolons frowned upon, ...
— The Voice of the City • O. Henry

... with a splendid piece of bravery, he turned his back on the gambler, walking away with never a backward glance. He did not go directly home, but walked for an indeterminate interval till his spirit ...
— Port O' Gold • Louis John Stellman

... coming to the motor-car from that direction. There was an unoccupied muddy space for fifty yards, perhaps, between car and gate, and then the wheels and head of the pit rose black against the sky. I was one of a rude semicircle of people that hung as yet indeterminate in ...
— In the Days of the Comet • H. G. Wells

... the world of thought. His pretended re-investigation of the foundations of the moral sentiments reminds one of the mud geysers of the Yellowstone, which break out periodically and envelop everything within reach in an indeterminate shower of mud. To me there is more of vanity than of philosophic acumen in his onslaught on well-nigh all human institutions. He would, like ...
— Essays on Scandinavian Literature • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... down and the room dim. He caught a glimpse of a most singular thing, what seemed a handless arm waving towards him, and a face of three huge indeterminate spots on white, very like the face of a pale pansy. Then he was struck violently in the chest, hurled back, and the door slammed in his face and locked. It was so rapid that it gave him no time to observe. A waving of indecipherable shapes, a blow, and a ...
— The Invisible Man • H. G. Wells

... rolling his eyes and hugging his kaross around him because of the cold, and something in his anxious, indeterminate expression told me at once that he knew himself to be a man in terrible danger. Just behind him, dark and brooding, his arms folded on his breast, his eyes fixed upon the ground, looking, to my moved imagination, ...
— Child of Storm • H. Rider Haggard

... trip, brought the team up to fourteen. But the Outside dogs, though practically broken in since their landing, did not amount to much. Three were short-haired pointers, one was a Newfoundland, and the other two were mongrels of indeterminate breed. They did not seem to know anything, these newcomers. Buck and his comrades looked upon them with disgust, and though he speedily taught them their places and what not to do, he could not teach them what to do. They did ...
— The Call of the Wild • Jack London

... him. They would be two friends, differing in kind no doubt but differing reciprocally, who had linked themselves in a matrimonial relationship. Our Utopian marriage so far as we have discussed it, is indeterminate ...
— A Modern Utopia • H. G. Wells

... but about her shone a sort of indeterminate light, like that coming from a reflector, and her figure outlined itself clearly against the shadows ...
— The Story of a Child • Pierre Loti

... of the Iroquois word hiro, used to conclude a speech, and kou, an exclamation (Charlevoix). Hale gives as possible derivations ierokwa, the indeterminate form of the verb to smoke, signifying "they who smoke;" also the Cayuga form of bear, iakwai.[39] Mr. Hewitt[39] suggests the Algonkin words [-i]r[-i]n, true, or real; ako, snake; with the French termination ...
— Seventh Annual Report • Various

... had to examine. Thus Salisbury has indicated the palmella gemiasma, which is found with us in places perfectly free from malaria, while it is often wanting in malarious marshes in the center of Italy; Balestra, a species of alga which is as yet indeterminate; Bargellini, the palmogloea micrococca; Safford and Bartlett, the hydrogastrum granulatum; and Archer, the chitonoblastus oeruginosus. There is not a single one of these species the parasitic nature of which has been demonstrated; and ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 458, October 11, 1884 • Various

... through the night there passed the beating of mighty wings all bathed in the sunlight. Olivier tried in vain to make him grasp his cultivated logic. The boy's rebellious and weary soul slipped through his fingers: and it sank back with a sigh of comfort and relief into the indeterminate haze and the chafing of its own sensation and hallucinations, like a woman in love giving herself with eyes closed to ...
— Jean-Christophe Journey's End • Romain Rolland

... the red and green signal lamps hang high in the air; and one glides past a sleeping town, the lamps burning quietly in deserted streets; there are house-fronts below, in a long thoroughfare suddenly visible from end to end; above, there are indeterminate shadows, the glimmering faces of high towers; it is all ghost-like and mysterious; one only knows that men live and work there; and then the tides of slumber flow in upon the brain, and one dives thirstily to ...
— Escape and Other Essays • Arthur Christopher Benson

... gods differ essentially from pure fetishes, by a character more general and more abstract, pertaining to their indeterminate residence. They, each of them, administer a special order of phenomena, and have a department more or less extensive; while the humble fetish governs one object only, from which it is inseparable. Now, in proportion as the resemblance of certain phenomena was observed, it was necessary ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXIX. - March, 1843, Vol. LIII. • Various

... schools; but I do not intend to justify it here, as it is all one for my purpose whether it is admitted or not. [Perfect duties are usually understood to be those which can be enforced by external law; imperfect, those which cannot be enforced. They are also called respectively determinate and indeterminate, officia juris and ...
— Literary and Philosophical Essays • Various

... later the Poet drove in a six-cylinder car from Park Lane to Eaton Square on an indeterminate visit to the Iron King. He was looking better for the month's good wine and food, in which the Millionaire's house abounded; but now the Millionaire, who based his fortune on knowing the right people in every walk of life, was ...
— Defenders of Democracy • Militia of Mercy



Words linked to "Indeterminate" :   determinate, inconclusive, undeterminable, botany, cost-plus, undetermined, indeterminateness, phytology, open-ended, racemose, ambiguous, equivocal, indeterminable, uncertain



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