Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of vague
Meaning of vague by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Middle French vague, from Latin vagus ( “wandering, rambling, strolling, fig. uncertain, vague” ) .


    • IPA: /veɪɡ/, X-SAMPA: /veIg/
    • Rhymes: -eɪɡ


    vague ( comparative vaguer, superlative vaguest )

    1. not clearly expressed; stated in indefinite terms.
    2. not having a precise meaning .
      a vague term of abuse
    3. not clearly defined, grasped, or understood; indistinct; slight .
      only a vague notion of what’s needed
      a vague hint of a thickening waistline
      I haven’t the vaguest idea .
    4. not clearly felt or sensed; somewhat subconscious .
      a vague longing
    5. not thinking or expressing one’s thoughts clearly or precisely .
    6. lacking expression; vacant .
    7. not sharply outlined; hazy .


    Related terms


    vague ( plural: vagues )

    1. ( obsolete ) A wandering; a vagary .
      ( Can we find and add a quotation of Holinshed to this entry? )

    External links

    • vague in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • vague in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
    • vague at OneLook Dictionary Search

Explanation of vague by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. not clearly understood or expressed

    2. their descriptions of human behavior become vague, dull, and unclear- P.A.Sorokin
      vague...forms of speech...have so long passed for mysteries of science- John Locke
    3. not precisely limited, determined, or distinguished

    4. vague feelings of sadness
      a vague uneasiness
    5. lacking clarity or distinctness

    6. saw a vague outline of a building through the fog

    Definition of vague by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Vague ( vāg ), a. [Compar. Vaguer ( vāgẽr ); superl. Vaguest.] [F. vague, or L. vagus. See Vague, v. i.]

      1. Wandering; vagrant; vagabond. [Archaic] “To set upon the vague villains.” Hayward.

      She danced along with vague, regardless eyes. Keats.

      2. Unsettled; unfixed; undetermined; indefinite; ambiguous; as, “a vague idea; a vague proposition”.

      This faith is neither a mere fantasy of future glory, nor a vague ebullition of feeling. I. Taylor.

      The poet turned away, and gave himself up to a sort of vague revery, which he called thought. Hawthorne.

      3. Proceeding from no known authority; unauthenticated; uncertain; flying; as, “a vague report”.

      Some legend strange and vague. Longfellow.

      Vague year. See Sothiac year, under Sothiac.

      Syn. -- Unsettled; indefinite; unfixed; ill-defined; ambiguous; hazy; loose; lax; uncertain.

    2. Vague, n. [Cf. F. vague.] An indefinite expanse. [R.]

      The gray vague of unsympathizing sea. Lowell.

    3. Vague, v. i. [F. vaguer, L. vagari, fr. vagus roaming.] To wander; to roam; to stray. [Obs.] “[The soul] doth vague and wander.” Holland.

    4. Vague, n. A wandering; a vagary. [Obs.] Holinshed.