Indeterminate In`de*ter"mi*nate, a. [L. indeterminatus.] Not determinate; not certain or fixed; indefinite; not precise; as, an indeterminate number of years. --Paley. [1913 Webster]

{Indeterminate analysis} (Math.), that branch of analysis which has for its object the solution of indeterminate problems.

{Indeterminate coefficients} (Math.), coefficients arbitrarily assumed for convenience of calculation, or to facilitate some artifice of analysis. Their values are subsequently determined.

{Indeterminate equation} (Math.), an equation in which the unknown quantities admit of an infinite number of values, or sets of values. A group of equations is indeterminate when it contains more unknown quantities than there are equations.

{Indeterminate inflorescence} (Bot.), a mode of inflorescence in which the flowers all arise from axillary buds, the terminal bud going on to grow and sometimes continuing the stem indefinitely; -- called also {acropetal inflorescence}, {botryose inflorescence}, {centripetal inflorescence}, and {indefinite inflorescence}. --Gray.

{Indeterminate problem} (Math.), a problem which admits of an infinite number of solutions, or one in which there are fewer imposed conditions than there are unknown or required results.

{Indeterminate quantity} (Math.), a quantity which has no fixed value, but which may be varied in accordance with any proposed condition.

{Indeterminate series} (Math.), a series whose terms proceed by the powers of an indeterminate quantity, sometimes also with indeterminate exponents, or indeterminate coefficients. -- {In`de*ter"mi*nate*ly} adv. -- {In`de*ter"mi*nate*ness}, n. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • indeterminate — I adjective ambiguous, anceps, boundless, cryptic, dubius, endless, equivocal, featureless, fluctuant, fluid, formless, hazy, ill defined, immeasurable, in a state of uncertainty, in doubt, inarticulated, incalculable, incertus, inconclusive,… …   Law dictionary

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  • indeterminate — (adj.) late 14c., from L.L. indeterminatus undefined, from in not, opposite of (see IN (Cf. in ) (1)) + determinatus, pp. of determinare (see DETERMINE (Cf. determine)). Related: Indeterminately …   Etymology dictionary

  • indeterminate — [adj] uncertain, vague borderless, general, imprecise, inconclusive, indefinite, indistinct, inexact, undefined, undetermined, unfixed, unspecified, unstipulated; concept 535 Ant. certain, definite, determined, exact, fixed, measurable, sure …   New thesaurus

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  • indeterminate — adjective Etymology: Middle English indeterminat, from Late Latin indeterminatus, from Latin in + determinatus, past participle of determinare to determine Date: 14th century 1. a. not definitely or precisely determined or fixed ; vague b. not… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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