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[veyg] /veɪg/
adjective, vaguer, vaguest.
not clearly or explicitly stated or expressed:
vague promises.
indefinite or indistinct in nature or character, as ideas or feelings:
a vague premonition of disaster.
not clear or distinct to the sight or any other sense; perceptible or recognizable only in an indefinite way:
vague shapes in the dark; vague murmurs behind a door.
not definitely established, determined, confirmed, or known; uncertain:
a vague rumor; The date of his birth is vague.
(of persons) not clear or definite in thought, understanding, or expression:
vague about his motives; a vague person.
(of the eyes, expression, etc.) showing lack of clear perception or understanding:
a vague stare.
Origin of vague
1540-50; (< Middle French) < Latin vagus wandering
Related forms
vaguely, adverb
vagueness, noun
unvague, adjective
unvaguely, adverb
unvagueness, noun
1. unspecific, imprecise. 3. obscure, hazy, shadowy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for vague
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had come to the end of her adventures and her vague dreams.

    Hilda Lessways Arnold Bennett
  • At the edge of his mind was vague, uneasy wonder, obviously not his own thought.

    Millennium Everett B. Cole
  • Of old she had never been vague; though undertaking many enquiries at once, she had managed to be entire and pointed about each.

  • Boys were all right, but he had a vague notion that they belonged to their mothers.

    The Man from the Bitter Roots Caroline Lockhart
  • He felt as though he had been caught in the wheels of an unstoppable machine and was in vague but serious danger.

British Dictionary definitions for vague


(of statements, meaning, etc) not explicit; imprecise: vague promises
not clearly perceptible or discernible; indistinct: a vague idea, a vague shape
not clearly or definitely established or known: a vague rumour
(of a person or his expression) demonstrating lack of precision or clear thinking; absent-minded
Derived Forms
vaguely, adverb
vagueness, noun
Word Origin
C16: via French from Latin vagus wandering, of obscure origin
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 vague

1540s, from Middle French vague, from Latin vagus "wandering, rambling, vacillating, vague," of unknown origin. Related: Vagueness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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