Definition of unclear in English:



  • 1Not easy to see, hear, or understand.

    ‘the motive for this killing is unclear’
    • ‘Though it is unclear why there should be such a marked difference, 3G masts transmit at higher frequencies.’
    • ‘Manchester Crown Court heard that the reason he was targeted was unclear and the attack could have been without motive.’
    • ‘It's unclear how a Segway makes it easier to stop and talk to people than say a car or bike also resting at a hotel or person's house.’
    • ‘The walkie-talkie was very hard to understand, with a lot of static, and very unclear.’
    • ‘The Indian High Commission in London said the hijackers' demands were unclear.’
    • ‘How the hell I make easy use of it as a blog creator remains unclear as of my last visit to their site.’
    • ‘The story is a bit unclear, but as I understand it, she was just standing at the kitchen counter when she fell on her bum.’
    • ‘It was all very unclear, and I really didn't understand why they did it.’
    • ‘Her head felt muzzy and everything was so unclear… was that thunder she heard in the distance?’
    • ‘At present, several major aspects of our understanding of the northern New Zealand area are unclear.’
    • ‘The language of poverty and misery is unclear and uncomfortable.’
    • ‘As a matter of fact the understanding is quite unclear in this area of Riba al-Fadl as well, like it is in others.’
    • ‘Through the open doorway, he heard the voice of Aline Fulke but her words were unclear.’
    • ‘Given all the bureaucracy and complex or unclear rules that currently exist, this is more than welcome.’
    • ‘It remains unclear why Askar Akaev decided to leave under such humiliating circumstances.’
    • ‘Evidence to the inquiries showed that the law and the way it was understood was unclear.’
    • ‘Today, these students of compassion are gone again, their identity uncertain and their aim unclear.’
    • ‘The exact number of ones with problems is unclear from the articles but it seems to be a handful out of many at best.’
    • ‘Exactly how they determine what is and isn't a blog is unclear.’
    • ‘A motive for any attack is unclear but detectives are looking into both Mr Guilfoyle's private and business lives.’
    uncertain, undecided, yet to be decided, unsure, unsettled, indefinite, indeterminate, unknown, unestablished, unconfirmed, unresolved, unascertained, pending, outstanding, in the balance, up in the air, speculative
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    1. 1.1 Not obvious or definite; ambiguous.
      ‘their future remains unclear’
      • ‘It is unclear whether ADS will make it any easier for Chinese people to get visas.’
      • ‘The court heard it was unclear if the turkey cooking was the sole cause of the outbreak.’
      • ‘It is also now quite unclear who actually has the final word: the European Commission or the Council of Ministers.’
      • ‘It is still unclear how the crisis between Syria and Lebanon will evolve.’
      • ‘The details of the incident are as yet still unclear, but it would seem that the boy began to cross the road, in front of stationary traffic.’
      • ‘The clear mild waters around many of the areas hit by the tsunami have made them popular with divers and it remains unclear how many were killed.’
      • ‘Personhood is no doubt an open-ended concept that defies philosophic analysis in unclear cases.’
      • ‘The ownership of the site is unclear, leading to difficulties in attempts to remove the Travellers.’
      • ‘At that time it was unclear whether he had a capable team around him.’
      • ‘The foundation said the effects of the spill on the island's fragile environment were still unclear.’
      • ‘Samuel's role remains unclear, but his real allegiance seems increasingly obvious.’
      • ‘It was unclear from the newspaper report whether Beijing is offering to pay to build the line on the Pakistani side.’
      • ‘It is unclear when these steps will be taken or what they will entail.’
      • ‘This compromise was put by Mr Latham himself, but what's still unclear is how far Labor is determined to go.’
      • ‘It's unclear how easy it is to pass on the virus between outbreaks or when you have no symptoms.’
      • ‘Hence, it is unclear how much of the current rise in investor demand is merely deferred demand from the end of last year.’
      • ‘But the long-term future still remains unclear, which is something of a disappointment.’
      • ‘However, the role of BRs in cell division remains unclear, as contradictory results have been reported.’
      • ‘However, it's unclear whether that was with his intimidators or his friends.’
      • ‘The precise origin of the Royal meeting is unclear, but the first four-day meeting took place in 1768.’
      uncertain, unsure, unsettled, up in the air, debatable, open to question, in doubt, doubtful, unpredictable, unforeseeable, incalculable, speculative
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    2. 1.2 Having or feeling doubt or confusion.
      ‘users are still unclear about what middleware does’
      • ‘Far too many retailers try to just ‘muddle along’, unclear about whom they are there to serve.’
      • ‘But it was found the council was unclear about long-term ambitions and its role as a community leader.’
      • ‘I am unclear what got me subject to this search, but I am bitter nonetheless.’
      • ‘The confusion has left employees unclear about the future, with many not able to attend this week's briefing.’
      • ‘Perhaps the artists themselves were unclear how their works were to be understood.’
      • ‘Initially, the intentions of the West in intervening were muddled and unclear.’
      • ‘It had vague, short-term plans and was unclear about what its top priorities were.’
      • ‘He told the Bradford conference that fathers are unclear as to what their role should be.’
      chaotic, muddled, jumbled, untidy, disordered, disorderly, disarranged, out of order, disorganized, upset, topsy-turvy, at sixes and sevens
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