Indiscriminate vs undiscriminating

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Indiscriminate and undiscriminating are two adjectives that have similar meanings, though there is a nuanced difference between them. We will examine the definitions of indiscriminate and undiscriminating, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Indiscriminate means to do something without careful thought. The word indiscriminate describes something random or haphazard. There is a negative connotation to this word, with the underlying meaning that one could have been more discerning but was too lazy or careless.The adverb form is indiscriminately. The word indiscriminate is derived from the Latin word discriminare which means to divide, and the prefix in- which means the opposite of.

Undiscriminating means to do something that does not show an understanding of the subtle differences between two or more things. Undiscriminating describes someone who does not demonstrate good judgement. When someone is undiscriminating, the assumption is that he is not capable of displaying good judgement or understanding the subtle differences between two or more things. The adverb form is undiscriminatingly. The word undiscriminating is derived from the Latin word discriminare and the prefix un-, which means not.


But I will note that the hashtag hurricane of MeToo is very indiscriminate in its landings, and further note that with great righteousness comes great irresponsibility. (The National Post)

The danger of snares, Marx said, is that they are indiscriminate killers that don’t take rarity into account. (The Phnom Phen Post)

For the undiscriminating music fan, there were plenty of choices to choose from; everything from the rollicking piano of Jon Cleary to the pristine contemporary soul of Leslie Odom, Jr. was on tap. (Off Beat Magazine)

Since he takes out advert spaces every time he is summoned and he declines the invitation, there is no telling whether a fourth invitation would not see him galloping over the heads of the parliament to appeal yet again to the emotions of the undiscriminating public. (The Nation)