Definition of vague in English:



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

    ‘many patients suffer vague symptoms’
    • ‘I have vague memories of shuffling up the street to the corner shop in them, only to discover that it was closed.’
    • ‘Some of the great land-based empires soon became little more than vague memories.’
    • ‘The gales howled, and for a moment, a vague shape began to materialize from the general direction of the gate.’
    • ‘As he stared, the shimmer resolved into a vague outline of a man.’
    • ‘I have a vague memory that it took about eight months for him to leave office after Black Wednesday.’
    • ‘I have very vague ideas so basically suggestions are totally appreciated as well as opinions as always.’
    • ‘Not only do I not remember them I don't even have a vague idea of what the subject matter was.’
    • ‘There is always a vague feeling of inertia, a longing to go back to a country they have never seen.’
    • ‘These people are not interested in submerging their faiths into a vague universal spirituality.’
    • ‘The question of the intelligentsia, a somewhat vague term to begin with, is not really explored here systematically.’
    • ‘Nearly all the remaining complaints were trivial, baseless or impossibly vague.’
    • ‘"There are some vague memories but… " his frustrated face relaxed.’
    • ‘I have a very vague recollection of being aware of a coach or something alongside the bus.’
    • ‘Even so the allegations were so vague they would have been impossible to defend.’
    • ‘They have only vague, dim ideas about feelings, the development and nurture of human emotions.’
    • ‘There is certainly a need for change, but these plans at present are vague, confusing and uncertain.’
    • ‘She was maybe 20 and had vague hopes, somewhere down the line, of becoming an actor.’
    • ‘I sort of had this vague recollection that it was used for munitions, but that was about it.’
    • ‘The news is uncertain, the details clouded and vague, and the truth behind the fact is elusive.’
    • ‘But for now I do feel some vague optimism, and a desire to see if I can make it work properly.’
    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
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    1. 1.1 Thinking or communicating in an unfocused or imprecise way.
      ‘he had been very vague about his activities’
      • ‘I didn't mean to be purposefully vague about the details of what happened to me.’
      • ‘They remain rather vague about how they will achieve these aspirations.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Finn was still a bit vague on the subject.’
      • ‘The Spectator editor, as is his custom, seemed a little vague as he accosted the former party leader.’
      • ‘Someone might reply that my explanation is vague and approximate.’
      • ‘She was a bit vague on the legal specifics.’
      • ‘When it came to direct actions, the group discussions became purposely vague.’
      • ‘She is characteristically vague on a number of crucial narrative occasions.’
      • ‘An FBI statement was vague about specific details, but made it clear that threats had been made.’
      • ‘Sorry to be a bit vague but I don't want to mention the domain in question.’
      • ‘He has been criticised for being wilfully vague about those policy plans during the campaign.’
      • ‘"You could say that… " she answered, purposefully sounding vague.’
      • ‘The Home Office, not the most tentative of Whitehall departments, kept things vague.’
      • ‘So I said yes, I would go to his evening class on Wednesday, about which he was so vague and mysterious.’
      • ‘He remained vague over the issue of privatisation which occupied the national press last week.’
      • ‘The party has been vague and woolly with regard to the treaty settlement process up until now.’
      • ‘You seem a little vague though, would you go so far as to describe it as a ‘cracking read’?’
      • ‘Exponents of travel are often vague as to how the benefits are supposed to work.’
      • ‘The problem is that talk of the interests of justice is very vague and very general.’
      imprecise, inexact, rough, approximate, inexplicit, non-specific, loose, ill-defined, generalized, ambiguous, equivocal, hazy, woolly
      unclear, hazy, uncertain, unsure, undecided
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Mid 16th century: from French, or from Latin vagus ‘wandering, uncertain’.