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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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for vagueness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The freshness of the experience would be spoilt, I feared, by incomplete glimpses caught in the vagueness of the dusk.

    My Reminiscences Rabindranath Tagore
  • Then, as the journey went on, the vagueness began to define.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • The commander was depending on the vagueness of the information that may have filtered down from the north.

    Despoilers of the Golden Empire Gordon Randall Garrett
  • The scientist was under no illusion as to the vagueness of the title "Chairman."

    Irresistible Weapon Horace Brown Fyfe
  • "Never, excepting a number of times," replied St. George, supremely unconscious of any vagueness.

    Romance Island Zona Gale
British Dictionary definitions for vagueness


(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 vagueness



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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