indeterminate

Indeterminate means not known or decided. When someone contracts a rare stomach parasite but has not been traveling internationally, you might say it had indeterminate origins.

It's important to distinguish indeterminate from undetermined, which means not yet decided. When you buy an antique vase and don't know when it dates from, you might describe it as of an indeterminate era. If you are traveling and don't know when you plan to return home, you could say that your return is as yet undetermined.

Definitions of indeterminate
  1. adjective
    not precisely determined or established; not fixed or known in advance
    “of indeterminate age”
    “a zillion is a large indeterminate number”
    “an indeterminate point of law”
    “the influence of environment is indeterminate
    “an indeterminate future”
    synonyms: undetermined
    uncertain
    not established beyond doubt; still undecided or unknown
    inconclusive
    not conclusive; not putting an end to doubt or question
    indeterminable, undeterminable
    not capable of being definitely decided or ascertained
    cost-plus
    determining payment based on the actual cost of production plus an agreed-upon fee or rate of profit
    open-ended
    allowing for a spontaneous response
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    Antonyms:
    determinate
    precisely determined or limited or defined; especially fixed by rule or by a specific and constant cause
    fixed
    (of a number) having a fixed and unchanging value
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  2. adjective
    not capable of being determined
    “the indeterminate number of plant species in the jungle”
    Synonyms:
    indeterminable, undeterminable
    not capable of being definitely decided or ascertained
  3. adjective
    of uncertain or ambiguous nature
    “the equivocal (or indeterminate) objects painted by surrealists”
    Synonyms:
    ambiguous, equivocal
    open to two or more interpretations; or of uncertain nature or significance; or (often) intended to mislead
  4. adjective
    not leading to a definite ending or result
    “an indeterminate campaign”
    Synonyms:
    inconclusive
    not conclusive; not putting an end to doubt or question
  5. adjective
    having a capacity for continuing to grow at the apex
    “an indeterminate stem”
    Synonyms:
    racemose
    having stalked flowers along an elongated stem that continue to open in succession from below as the stem continues to grow
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    Antonyms:
    determinate
    not continuing to grow indefinitely at the apex
    cymose
    having a usually flat-topped flower cluster in which the main and branch stems each end in a flower that opens before those below it or to its side
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