vague (comparative vaguer, superlative vaguest)
- Not clearly expressed; stated in indefinite terms.
1921, Bertrand Russell, The Analysis of Mind:
- It follows from what has been said that a vague thought has more likelihood of being true than a precise one. To try and hit an object with a vague thought is like trying to hit the bull's eye with a lump of putty: when the putty reaches the target, it flattens out all over it, and probably covers the bull's eye along with the rest. To try and hit an object with a precise thought is like trying to hit the bull's eye with a bullet. The advantage of the precise thought is that it distinguishes between the bull's eye and the rest of the target.
- 2004: Chris Wallace, Character: Profiles in Presidential Courage
- Throughout the first week of his presidency, Dulles and Bissell continued to brief Kennedy on their strategy for Cuba, but the men were vague and their meetings offered little in the way of hard facts.
- Not having a precise meaning.
- a vague term of abuse
- 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.
- Not clearly felt or sensed; somewhat subconscious.
- a vague longing
- Not thinking or expressing one’s thoughts clearly or precisely.
- Lacking expression; vacant.
- Not sharply outlined; hazy.
1922, Michael Arlen, “Ep./1/2”, in “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days:
- He walked. To the corner of Hamilton Place and Picadilly, and there stayed for a while, for it is a romantic station by night. The vague and careless rain looked like threads of gossamer silver passing across the light of the arc-lamps.
- Wandering; vagrant; vagabond.
- Sir John Hayward (c.1564-1627)
- to set upon the vague villains
- John Keats (1795-1821)
- She danced along with vague, regardless eyes.
not clearly expressed
- Bulgarian: неясен (bg) (nejasen)
- Catalan: vague
- Mandarin: 模糊 (zh) (móhu), 糢糊 (zh) (móhu)
- Czech: vágní (cs)
- Dutch: vaag (nl)
- Esperanto: svaga
- Finnish: epämääräinen (fi), ympäripyöreä (fi)
- French: vague (fr)
- German: nebelhaft (de), schwach (de), unklar (de), undeutlich (de), ungenau (de), ungewiss (de), vage (de), verschwommen (de)
- Greek: ασαφής (el) m (asafís), αόριστος (el) m (aóristos)
- Hebrew: עמום (‘amum), מעורפל (me‘urpal), לא ברור (lo barur)
- Italian: vago (it)
- Japanese: 曖昧 (ja) (aimai), 漠然とした (ばくぜんとした, bakuzen to shita)
- Macedonian: нејасен m (néjasen), неодреден m (neódreden), магловит m (máglovit)
- Polish: niejasny (pl) m
- Portuguese: vago (pt) m
- Russian: нея́сный (ru) (nejásnyj), нечёткий (ru) (nečótkij), неопределённый (ru) (neopredeljónnyj), расплы́вчатый (ru) (rasplývčatyj)
- Spanish: vago (es), impreciso
- Swedish: vag (sv), oklar (sv)
- Turkish: anlaşılmaz (tr), belirsiz (tr), bulanık (tr), karanlık (tr), muğlak (tr), (Ottoman) müphem (tr), şüpheli (tr), üstü kapalı (tr)
not having a precise meaning
not clearly defined, grasped, or understood
not clearly felt or sensed
- Estonian: ebamäärane (et), ebaselge, ähmane
- Finnish: epämääräinen (fi)
- Maori: hākirikiri, hārau (of what is heard), hāraurau (of seeing and hearing)
- Portuguese: vago (pt) m
not thinking or expressing one’s thoughts clearly or precisely
vague (plural vagues)
- (obsolete) A wandering; a vagary.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Holinshed to this entry?)
- An indefinite expanse.
- The gray vague of unsympathizing sea.
vague (third-person singular simple present vagues, present participle vaguing, simple past and past participle vagued)
- To wander; to roam; to stray.
- [The soul] doth vague and wander.
From Latin vagus.
vague m (feminine vaga, masculine and feminine plural vagues)
From Middle French, from Old French vague (“movement on the surface of a liquid, ripple”), from Old Norse vágr (“sea”), from Proto-Germanic *wēgaz (“wave, storm”), from Proto-Indo-European *weǵhe- (“to drag, carry”). Cognate with Swedish våg (“wave”), Middle Dutch waeghe, wage (“wave”), Old High German wāge (“wave”), Old English wǣg (“wave, billow, motion, flood”). More at waw, wave.
vague f (plural vagues)
From Middle French vague, from Latin vagus (“wandering, rambling, strolling, fig. uncertain, vague”).
vague m, f (plural vagues)
vague m (plural vagues)
- first-person singular present subjunctive of vagar
- third-person singular present subjunctive of vagar
- First-person singular (eu) present subjunctive of vagar
- Third-person singular (ele, ela, also used with tu and você?) present subjunctive of vagar
- First-person singular (eu) affirmative imperative of vagar
- Third-person singular (você) affirmative imperative of vagar
- Third-person singular (você) negative imperative of vagar
- First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of vagar.
- Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of vagar.
- Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of vagar.