If something is vague, it’s not clearly explained. This word is used when someone is unsure of what another person means, says, or does.

  • The teacher said the student’s answer was vague.
  • You’re being too vague. What exactly do you mean?
  • She gave kind of a vague answer when I asked her to tell me where she was going.
  • The police have a vague idea of who committed the crime.
  • He bears a vague resemblance to his grandfather. (He looks a little like his grandfather.)

The word "vaguely" is an adverb:

  • He vaguely resembles his grandfather.
  • Maria was vaguely aware of her surroundings when she woke up out of a coma.
  • You look vaguely familiar. (This is a common expression. It means that I’ve seen you somewhere or I have met you some time before.)

The word "vagueness" is a noun:

  • The professor is well known for his vagueness.
  • The vagueness of the test results required the scientists to redo their work.


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This page was published on April 22, 2014.