Definition of unfocused in US English:


(also unfocussed)


  • 1(of a person or their eyes) not seeing clearly; appearing glazed or expressionless.

    • ‘Luni's eyes were slightly unfocused, and he looked like he was not paying very much attention to the princess.’
    • ‘Bearded and black-capped, he avoids our gaze with unfocused eyes.’
    • ‘Slowly, her gaze traced up to his eyes; his eyelids fluttered open, and for a second, his gaze was unfocused, searching blindly upon the stark hospital ceiling.’
    • ‘The world shimmered blurrily through Bren's unfocused eyes.’
    • ‘He turned his head in her direction, opening his eyes, their unfocused gaze resting somewhere out there.’
    • ‘For a moment his eyes were unfocussed, but eventually they cleared up and he looked down at her with a penetrating gaze.’
    • ‘The cops turn blank, unfocussed eyes towards them.’
    • ‘His eyes were unfocused, looking off into the distance.’
    • ‘He looks down at Tristan, who still gazes silently at him through glassy unfocused eyes.’
    • ‘His eyes were unfocussed, looking into the past.’
    • ‘She looked the worst of them all, with slightly unfocused eyes and breath that smelled of alcohol and smoke.’
    • ‘The knight looked over with unfocused eyes, flicking back and forth like a caged animal.’
    • ‘Rob rushes up to her as she gazes at him with unfocused eyes.’
    • ‘At 43, in a blue button-down shirt, with a greying goatee and gentle, unfocused eyes, he looks like any middle-aged man in a Toronto hotel restaurant.’
    • ‘If the dish plonked before our unfocused eyes was not radioactive red, we would miss it with our spoons.’
    • ‘He looked up at Christine through very unfocused eyes.’
    • ‘His father seemed to have ignored his response, and turned his unfocused eyes to look at Dimitri.’
    • ‘Jack's eyes were unfocused, his gaze tossed onto a random spot on the wall.’
    • ‘The General's eyes were unfocused, lost in memory.’
    • ‘Blatant desire shone in his watery, unfocused eyes.’
    tearful, teary, weepy, weeping, lachrymose
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    1. 1.1 (of an optical device) not adjusted to focus.
      ‘perpetually unfocused binoculars’
    2. 1.2 (of a lens) not making incident light rays meet at a single point.
      • ‘Nevertheless, it should be noted that unfocused light still adds to the total collected fluorescence.’
    3. 1.3 (of an object of vision) not in focus; indistinct.
      • ‘Due to the slight blur of the line, these images are slightly unfocused and appear more impressionistic since colors and details flow evenly together.’
      • ‘He presented what seemed to be two unfocused photos of foliage in red and black, respectively.’
      • ‘He sighed and let his lids flutter open, icy blue depths meeting an unfocused cloudless sky blue.’
      • ‘The only misstep in the film is the cinematography, which is fuzzy, often unfocused and fails to take best advantage of the rich natural scenery.’
      indistinct, blurry, fuzzy, hazy, misty, foggy, shadowy, smoky, faint
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    4. 1.4 (of feelings or plans) without a specific aim or direction.
      ‘my aspirations to write history were real but unfocused’
      • ‘Lacking that, tactics will also seem unfocused and ineffective.’
      • ‘As a sputtering knife-wielding hooligan, she's unfocused rage and violence.’
      • ‘The emotional couplet thus produced combines furious glee and abject melancholy, helpless vulnerability and unfocused rage.’
      • ‘At home, I have been wandering round in a state of mild, unfocussed irritation, which is all the more irritating on account of its unreasonableness.’
      • ‘He delivers emotions other than dull gloominess and unfocused anger, and he does it in style.’
      • ‘His rage was unfocused and undirected, and as such he was forcing it to stay inside, if nothing else, to save his composure.’
      • ‘I swung from blind happiness to almost incandescent, unfocused rage within a second, almost before I had a chance to think about it.’
      • ‘So I've now got unfocussed anger that I can't take out on anyone.’
      • ‘The film's intentions remain unfocussed and vague.’
      • ‘Lucente's work indulges passive meaninglessness and unfocused ambiguity.’
      • ‘All the old certainties are gone, there's minority threat all about, and everywhere, like black smoke from factories, an unfocused fear and dread.’
      • ‘There is a sort of pervasive melancholy, but also an unfocused hope for the future.’
      • ‘Business leaders and financial markets were moaning about unfocused policies and the mounting budget deficit.’
      • ‘The strategy was so unfocused that it could not be implemented without ‘considerable reworking’, she said.’
      • ‘I sat on the bed with my feet up, feeling pretty open and filled with unfocused excitement.’
      • ‘It premiered in 1993 and while it showcases Ball's trademark ability with dialogue, the play's plot is somewhat unfocused.’
      • ‘His script is unfocused, his direction uneasy; this film even lacks the visual splendor normally associated with epics and costume dramas.’
      • ‘This year, Democrats are undertaking something harder: to channel unfocused anger at business greed into an anti-Republican tide.’
      • ‘I've said it before on this blog and I'll say it again - there is a considerable lake of freefloating, unfocused discontent out there, and the party who can channel it will win.’
      • ‘Americans have recently lived in a country where collective anxiety was diffuse and unfocused.’
      purposeless, pointless, goalless, undirected, objectless, without purpose, without goal
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