adjective, va·guer, va·guest.

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 formsvague·ly, adverbvague·ness, nounun·vague, adjectiveun·vague·ly, adverbun·vague·ness, noun

Synonyms for vague Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vaguely

Contemporary Examples of vaguely

Historical Examples of vaguely

  • It had been vaguely present in his mind when he faced the crowd at Martindale, he remembered now.

  • Dick, vaguely conscious of damp and dirt, went up to his bedroom.


    William J. Locke

  • Vaguely, from the corner of his eye, he felt that Pop had taken the pipe from his mouth.

  • Her voice was level and vaguely dangerous as she answered his accusation.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Vaguely, between Kitty's sobs, I heard the ticking of a watch.

British Dictionary definitions for vaguely



(of statements, meaning, etc) not explicit; imprecisevague promises
not clearly perceptible or discernible; indistincta vague idea; a vague shape
not clearly or definitely established or knowna vague rumour
(of a person or his expression) demonstrating lack of precision or clear thinking; absent-minded
Derived Formsvaguely, adverbvagueness, noun

Word Origin for vague

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

Word Origin and History for vaguely

1781, from vague + -ly (2).



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper