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13 Essential Literary Terms

vague

[veyg] /veɪg/
adjective, vaguer, vaguest.
1.
not clearly or explicitly stated or expressed:
vague promises.
2.
indefinite or indistinct in nature or character, as ideas or feelings:
a vague premonition of disaster.
3.
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.
4.
not definitely established, determined, confirmed, or known; uncertain:
a vague rumor; The date of his birth is vague.
5.
(of persons) not clear or definite in thought, understanding, or expression:
vague about his motives; a vague person.
6.
(of the eyes, expression, etc.) showing lack of clear perception or understanding:
a vague stare.
Origin
1540-1550
1540-50; (< Middle French) < Latin vagus wandering
Related forms
vaguely, adverb
vagueness, noun
unvague, adjective
unvaguely, adverb
unvagueness, noun
Synonyms
1. unspecific, imprecise. 3. obscure, hazy, shadowy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for vaguer
  • Political correctness means ditching a clear and precise word in favour of a vaguer term, to spare someone's feelings.
  • The engineering became more exacting as the songs became vaguer and the voices less sanguine.
  • At the same time, it is a much vaguer, less determinate concept.
  • Softer imaginations blame a vaguer villain: workshop process among tables of people-pleasers.
  • The vaguer a term, or the more meanings it reasonably can convey, the less likely it is to be actionable.
  • Estimates of student participation in any type of credit-based transition program are even vaguer.
  • Obviously, the vaguer the particular statute, the more difficult it is for us.
  • The proposal is even vaguer with respect to economic upgrades.
British Dictionary definitions for vaguer

vague

/veɪɡ/
adjective
1.
(of statements, meaning, etc) not explicit; imprecise: vague promises
2.
not clearly perceptible or discernible; indistinct: a vague idea, a vague shape
3.
not clearly or definitely established or known: a vague rumour
4.
(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 vaguer

vague

adj.

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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