Definition of vague in US English:

vague

adjective

  • 1Of uncertain, indefinite, or unclear character or meaning.

    ‘many patients suffer vague symptoms’
    • ‘I have a vague memory that it took about eight months for him to leave office after Black Wednesday.’
    • ‘Not only do I not remember them I don't even have a vague idea of what the subject matter was.’
    • ‘I have a very vague recollection of being aware of a coach or something alongside the bus.’
    • ‘I sort of had this vague recollection that it was used for munitions, but that was about it.’
    • ‘Some of the great land-based empires soon became little more than vague memories.’
    • ‘There is always a vague feeling of inertia, a longing to go back to a country they have never seen.’
    • ‘She was maybe 20 and had vague hopes, somewhere down the line, of becoming an actor.’
    • ‘Even so the allegations were so vague they would have been impossible to defend.’
    • ‘"There are some vague memories but… " his frustrated face relaxed.’
    • ‘As he stared, the shimmer resolved into a vague outline of a man.’
    • ‘There is certainly a need for change, but these plans at present are vague, confusing and uncertain.’
    • ‘I have very vague ideas so basically suggestions are totally appreciated as well as opinions as always.’
    • ‘But for now I do feel some vague optimism, and a desire to see if I can make it work properly.’
    • ‘I have vague memories of shuffling up the street to the corner shop in them, only to discover that it was closed.’
    • ‘Nearly all the remaining complaints were trivial, baseless or impossibly vague.’
    • ‘The question of the intelligentsia, a somewhat vague term to begin with, is not really explored here systematically.’
    • ‘The news is uncertain, the details clouded and vague, and the truth behind the fact is elusive.’
    • ‘The gales howled, and for a moment, a vague shape began to materialize from the general direction of the gate.’
    • ‘These people are not interested in submerging their faiths into a vague universal spirituality.’
    • ‘They have only vague, dim ideas about feelings, the development and nurture of human emotions.’
    indistinct, indefinite, indeterminate, unclear
    uncertain, undecided, yet to be decided, unsure, unclear, unsettled, indefinite, indeterminate, unknown, unestablished, unconfirmed, unresolved, unascertained, pending, outstanding, in the balance, up in the air, speculative
    absent-mindedness, forgetfulness, disorganization, dreaminess, inattention, abstraction, wool-gathering, empty-headedness, giddiness, confusion, befuddlement
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Thinking or communicating in an unfocused or imprecise way.
      ‘he had been very vague about his activities’
      • ‘He has been criticised for being wilfully vague about those policy plans during the campaign.’
      • ‘You seem a little vague though, would you go so far as to describe it as a ‘cracking read’?’
      • ‘The problem is that talk of the interests of justice is very vague and very general.’
      • ‘Someone might reply that my explanation is vague and approximate.’
      • ‘"You could say that… " she answered, purposefully sounding vague.’
      • ‘The Spectator editor, as is his custom, seemed a little vague as he accosted the former party leader.’
      • ‘She was a bit vague on the legal specifics.’
      • ‘So I said yes, I would go to his evening class on Wednesday, about which he was so vague and mysterious.’
      • ‘Finn was still a bit vague on the subject.’
      • ‘I didn't mean to be purposefully vague about the details of what happened to me.’
      • ‘The party has been vague and woolly with regard to the treaty settlement process up until now.’
      • ‘Exponents of travel are often vague as to how the benefits are supposed to work.’
      • ‘An FBI statement was vague about specific details, but made it clear that threats had been made.’
      • ‘I find her a bit vague and she reminds me strongly of the goth girls who used to run stalls in Kensington Market a few years back.’
      • ‘Sorry to be a bit vague but I don't want to mention the domain in question.’
      • ‘They remain rather vague about how they will achieve these aspirations.’
      • ‘He remained vague over the issue of privatisation which occupied the national press last week.’
      • ‘The Home Office, not the most tentative of Whitehall departments, kept things vague.’
      • ‘When it came to direct actions, the group discussions became purposely vague.’
      • ‘She is characteristically vague on a number of crucial narrative occasions.’
      imprecise, inexact, rough, approximate, inexplicit, non-specific, loose, ill-defined, generalized, ambiguous, equivocal, hazy, woolly
      unclear, hazy, uncertain, unsure, undecided
      View synonyms

Origin

Mid 16th century: from French, or from Latin vagus ‘wandering, uncertain’.

Pronunciation

vague

/veɪɡ//vāɡ/