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90s Slang You Should Know


[neb-yuh-luh s] /ˈnɛb yə ləs/
hazy, vague, indistinct, or confused:
a nebulous recollection of the meeting; a nebulous distinction between pride and conceit.
cloudy or cloudlike.
of or resembling a nebula or nebulae in deep space; nebular.
Origin of nebulous
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin nebulōsus full of mist, foggy, cloudy. See nebula, -ous
Related forms
nebulously, adverb
nebulousness, noun
nonnebulous, adjective
nonnebulously, adverb
nonnebulousness, noun
quasi-nebulous, adjective
quasi-nebulously, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for nebulous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Was it a collection of nebulous, or cometary matter, which the earth encountered in its annual progress?

    Letters on Astronomy Denison Olmsted
  • It was all nebulous and cloudy; a contingency to be shaped by circumstances as they might develop.

    Sundry Accounts Irvin S. Cobb
  • Yet with all these crosses Mrs. Grubb was moderately cheerful, for her troubles were as nebulous as everything else to her mind.

    Marm Lisa Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • An idea, which had been nebulous until this moment, sprang into being.

    The Pagan Madonna Harold MacGrath
  • One can imagine a more and more diffuse state of the nebulous matter.

British Dictionary definitions for nebulous


lacking definite form, shape, or content; vague or amorphous: nebulous reasons
of, characteristic of, or resembling a nebula
(rare) misty or hazy
Derived Forms
nebulously, adverb
nebulousness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nebulous

late 14c., "cloudy, misty," from Latin nebulosus "cloudy, misty, foggy, full of vapor," from nebula (see nebula). The figurative sense of "hazy, vague, formless" is first attested 1831. Astronomical sense is from 1670s. Related: Nebulously; nebulousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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