- The definition of an indent is a space that is left when a block of text has been spaced inward further than surrounding text.
A space left when you "tab" to move text inward in a word processing program is an example of an indent.
- To indent is defined as to start a line of text further in on the page than the other text around or below it.
When you press the "Tab" button in a word processing program so the first line of your text starts further inward than the second, this is an example of indent.
- to cut toothlike points into (an edge or border); notch; also, to join by mating notches
- to make jagged or zigzag in outline
- to sever (a written contract, etc.) along an irregular line, so that the parts may be identified
- to write out (a contract, etc.) in duplicate
- to bind (a servant or apprentice) by indenture
- to place (the first line of a paragraph, an entire paragraph, a column of figures, etc.) some number of spaces away from the regular margin
- Brit., Business to order by an indent (noun)
Origin of indentMiddle English endenten from Old French endenter or Medieval Latin indentare, both from Classical Latin in, in + dens, tooth
- to create a starting point some number of spaces away from the margin; make an indentation
- to draw up an order or requisition in duplicate or triplicate
- a notch or cut in an edge
- an indenture, or written contract
- a starting point some number of spaces away from the margin; indentation
- an indented line, paragraph, etc.
- Brit., Business an order form used in foreign trade and usually drawn up in duplicate or triplicate; specif.,
- any order for foreign merchandise
- an export order to buy certain goods at stated terms
- to make a dent, or slight hollow, in
- to apply (a mark, etc.) with pressure; impress; stamp in
Origin of indentin- + dent
verbin·dent·ed, in·dent·ing, in·dents
- To set (the first line of a paragraph, for example) in from the margin.
- a. To cut or tear (a document with two or more copies) along an irregular line so that the parts can later be matched for establishing authenticity.b. To draw up (a document) in duplicate or triplicate.
- a. To notch or serrate the edge of; make jagged.b. To make notches, grooves, or holes in (wood, for example) for the purpose of mortising.c. To fit or join together by or as if by mortising.
- Chiefly British To order (goods) by purchase order or official requisition.
- To make or form an indentation.
- Chiefly British To draw up or order an indent.
- The act of indenting or the condition of being indented.
- A blank space before the beginning of an indented line: a two-pica indent.
- An indenture.
- A US certificate issued at the close of the American Revolution for interest due on the public debt.
- Chiefly British An official requisition or purchase order for goods.
Origin of indentMiddle English endenten to notch from Anglo-NormanOld French endenter both from Medieval Latin indentāre Latin in- in ; see in- 2. Latin dēns dent- tooth ; see dent- in Indo-European roots.
transitive verbin·dent·ed, in·dent·ing, in·dents
- A cut or notch in the margin of anything, or a recess like a notch.
- A stamp; an impression.
- A certificate, or intended certificate, issued by the government of the United States at the close of the Revolution, for the principal or interest of the public debt.
- A requisition or order for supplies, sent to the commissariat of an army.
(third-person singular simple present indents, present participle indenting, simple past and past participle indented)
- To notch; to jag; to cut into points like a row of teeth; as, to indent the edge of paper.
- (intransitive) To be cut, notched, or dented.
- To dent; to stamp or to press in; to impress; as, indent a smooth surface with a hammer; to indent wax with a stamp.
- (historical) To cut the two halves of a document in duplicate, using a jagged or wavy line so that each party could demonstrate that their copy was part of the original whole.
- to indent and drive bargains with the Almighty
- (typography) To begin (a line or lines) at a greater or lesser distance from the margin; as, to indent the first line of a paragraph one em; to indent the second paragraph two ems more than the first. See indentation, and indention. Normal indent pushes in a line or paragraph. "hanging indent" pulls the line out into the margin.
- (military, India, dated) To make an order upon; to draw upon, as for military stores.
From Old French endenter, from Latin indentare