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vague Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. adjective satellite not clearly understood or expressed
    • an obscure turn of phrase
    • an impulse to go off and fight certain obscure battles of his own spirit"-Anatole Broyard
    • their descriptions of human behavior become vague, dull, and unclear"- P.A.Sorokin
    • vague...forms of speech...have so long passed for mysteries of science"- John Locke
  2. adjective not precisely limited, determined, or distinguished
    • an undefined term
    • undefined authority
    • some undefined sense of excitement
    • vague feelings of sadness
    • a vague uneasiness
  3. adjective satellite lacking clarity or distinctness
    dim; shadowy; faint; wispy.
    • a dim figure in the distance
    • only a faint recollection
    • shadowy figures in the gloom
    • saw a vague outline of a building through the fog
    • a few wispy memories of childhood

Vague adjective
F. vague, or L. vagus. See Vague, v. i.
comparative Vaguer ; superlative Vaguest
  1. Wandering; vagrant; vagabond. Archaic "To set upon the vague villains." Hayward.
    She danced along with vague, regardless eyes. Keats.
  2. Unsettled; unfixed; undetermined; indefinite; ambiguous; as, a vague idea; a vague proposition.
    This faith is neither a mere fantasy of future glory, nor a vague ebullition of feeling. I. Taylor.
    The poet turned away, and gave himself up to a sort of vague revery, which he called thought. Hawthorne.
  3. Proceeding from no known authority; unauthenticated; uncertain; flying; as, a vague report.
    Some legend strange and value. Longfellow.
    Syn. -- Unsettled; indefinite; unfixed; ill-defined; ambiguous; hazy; loose; lax; uncertain.
Vague noun
Cf. F. vague.
  1. An indefinite expanse. R.
    The gray vague of unsympathizing sea. Lowell.
Vague intransitive verb
F. vaguer, L. vagari, fr. vagus roaming.
  1. To wander; to roam; to stray. Obs. "[The soul] doth vague and wander." Holland.
Vague noun
  1. A wandering; a vagary. Obs. Holinshed.

Webster 1913