follow Dictionary.com

Denotation vs. Connotation

nebulous

[neb-yuh-luh s] /ˈnɛb yə ləs/
adjective
1.
hazy, vague, indistinct, or confused:
a nebulous recollection of the meeting; a nebulous distinction between pride and conceit.
2.
cloudy or cloudlike.
3.
of or resembling a nebula or nebulae in deep space; nebular.
Origin of nebulous
late Middle English
1375-1425
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
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
  • The moment he saw the letter the nebulous idea became opaque.

    The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath
  • 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
  • Her thought of him was vague, nebulous, and taking many forms.

    Riders of the Silences John Frederick
  • One can imagine a more and more diffuse state of the nebulous matter.

British Dictionary definitions for nebulous

nebulous

/ˈnɛbjʊləs/
adjective
1.
lacking definite form, shape, or content; vague or amorphous: nebulous reasons
2.
of, characteristic of, or resembling a nebula
3.
(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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for nebulous
adj.

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for nebulous

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for nebulous

10
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for nebulous