Definition of indefinite article in English:

indefinite article

Pronunciation /inˈdef(ə)nət ˈˌärdəkəl/ /ɪnˈdɛf(ə)nət ˈˌɑrdəkəl/


  • A determiner (a and an in English) that introduces a noun phrase and implies that the thing referred to is nonspecific (as in she bought me a book; government is an art; he went to a public school). Typically, the indefinite article is used to introduce new concepts into a discourse.

    Compare with definite article

    ‘The use of the indefinite article with predicate nouns is to some extent an idiosyncratic feature of English.’
    • ‘It seems to me that the argument requires not only reading ‘or’ in a particular way but substituting the definite article for the indefinite article.’
    • ‘There may be a difference between the definite article and the indefinite article, and there are different views on capital letters, I suppose.’
    • ‘Using the feminine personal pronoun as an indefinite article is as moronic as using the masculine personal pronoun for personification.’
    • ‘For example, Gordon's speech as represented by Odum has some striking aspects that, like the regular omission of definite and indefinite articles, can only be attributed to an unusual idiolect.’