American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Not clearly expressed; inexplicit.
- adj. Not thinking or expressing oneself clearly.
- adj. Lacking definite shape, form, or character; indistinct: saw a vague outline of a building through the fog.
- adj. Not clear in meaning or application. See Synonyms at ambiguous.
- adj. Indistinctly felt, perceived, understood, or recalled; hazy: a vague uneasiness.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Wandering; roving; vagrant.
- Uncertain as to characters and specific designation, yet limited in scope and application; restricted in logical breadth, without any corresponding fullness of logical depth; said to be determinate, but without precise expression of the determination. Thus, if anything is described as most extraordinary without saying in what respect, the description is vague; if a word is understood to have a full import but what that is is doubtful, it is vague; if an emotion is strong but unaccompanied by a definite imagination of its object, it is vague; if a pictorial figure represents that something exists but fails to show its shape, situation, etc., it is vague. This meaning of the word (which occurs seldom before the eighteenth century without an explanatory accompaniment) seems to be derived from the logical phrase individuum vagum, meaning a single person or thing, designated as one in number, but without its proper name or any adequate description: as, “a certain man.”
- Proceeding from no known authority; of uncertain origin or derivation: as, a vague report.
- Having unclear perception or thought; not thinking clearly.
- n. A wandering; a journey; a voyage.
- n. A vagary; a whim.
- n. An undefined expanse: indefinite space.
- To wander; rove; roam; play the vagrant.
- adj. not clearly expressed; stated in indefinite terms.
- adj. not having a precise meaning.
- adj. not clearly defined, grasped, or understood; indistinct; slight.
- adj. not clearly felt or sensed; somewhat subconscious.
- adj. not thinking or expressing one’s thoughts clearly or precisely.
- adj. lacking expression; vacant.
- adj. not sharply outlined; hazy.
- n. obsolete A wandering; a vagary.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Archaic Wandering; vagrant; vagabond.
- adj. Unsettled; unfixed; undetermined; indefinite; ambiguous.
- adj. Proceeding from no known authority; unauthenticated; uncertain; flying.
- n. rare An indefinite expanse.
- v. obsolete To wander; to roam; to stray.
- n. obsolete A wandering; a vagary.
- adj. lacking clarity or distinctness
- adj. not clearly understood or expressed
- adj. not precisely limited, determined, or distinguished
- From Middle French vague, from Latin vagus ("wandering, rambling, strolling, fig. uncertain, vague"). (Wiktionary)
- French, from Old French, wandering, from Latin vagus. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“These _vague_ articles, intended for a more vague performance, are the things which have damned our reputation in India.”
“Curious!" echoed Rebecca, finding the term vague even while suggestive.”
“Weber himself is at least partly to blame for this problem, for he frequently left the term vague, in spite of many attempts to clarify himself.”
“An initial draft of the resolution, prepared by France and Britain, had language, I was told, that called for the exercise of "vigilance" involving arms transfers to Syria - a word vague enough for the Russians to have agreed to it last year in the latest round of U.N. sanctions against Iran.”
“I have used the English word vague as an equivalent of that word in Japanese aimaina.”
“Scottish business school student Steven Renwick used to harbor what he called a "vague aspiration" to get his MBA from an American institution such as the Stanford Graduate School of Business.”
“Now, Booth hopes to pick another court fight to clarify what he calls a "vague" situation that has left pastors uncertain about what they can and can't say from the pulpit.”
“Yet despite this well-known pattern of exploitation, the company announced in January that Immigration and Customs Enforcement had awarded it a 5-year $385 million contract to build immigrant "detention facilities" (prisons) for immigrants arrested on charges of entering the country illegally and to provide construction and logistics support services in the event of an "immigration emergency," a term vague enough to cause activists to suspect the worst -- that they are openly planning to build detention camps for political dissidents.”
“Late last week, Connecticut Senate candidate Linda McMahon was quoted as saying, in vague terms, that she'd be open to the idea of adjusting the federal minimum wage laws.”
“I actually watched the so-called convention on c-span yesterday while exercising and was astounded as I watched speaker after speaker rail and spew in vague generalities not once did anyone actually propose any concrete proposal for a solution to any of their paranoid rants.”
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