vague


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Vague

Imprecise; uncertain; indefinite.

The term vague is frequently used in reference to a statute written in language that is so indefinite or lacking in precision that an individual of ordinary intelligence is forced to guess at its meaning. Statutes that are vague are ordinarily void on that ground.

Cross-references

Void for Vagueness Doctrine.

vague

adjective ambiguous, ambiguus, amorphous, blurred, blurry, broad, cloudy, confused, cryptic, dim, doubtful, dubious, dubius, enigmatic, equivocal, evasive, faint, general, ill-defined, impalpable, imprecise, incertus, incomprehensible, indecisive, indefinite, indeterminate, indistinct, indistinguishable, inexplicit, intangible, mysterious, nebulous, obscure, perplexing, poorly defined, problematical, questionable, shadowy, unclear, undefined, undetermined, unsettled, unsure
Associated concepts: void for vagueness
Foreign phrases: Res est misera ubi jus est vagum et innertum.It is a sorry state of affairs when law is vague and mutable.
See also: allusive, ambiguous, broad, debatable, disputable, dubious, equivocal, evasive, impalpable, imponderable, inapprehensible, inarticulate, incomprehensible, inconspicuous, indefinite, indeterminate, indistinct, inexact, inexpressive, inscrutable, insubstantial, intangible, nebulous, noncommittal, oblique, obscure, opaque, open-ended, problematic, uncertain, unclear, undecided, undefinable, unspecified
References in classic literature ?
They began to feel a vague fear that they had been doing wrong to run away; and next they thought of the stolen meat, and then the real torture came.
The vague terror of public opinion weighed generally on them all; but there were private and particular horrors on the minds of individuals.
I had at that time very vague ideas as to the course I should pursue.
He had a vague idea that he might see something of me.
His communications with them had to be by signs, and a few words which he had learnt, and of course were extremely vague.
But I shrank especially from the sight of this new maid, because her advent had been announced to me at a moment to which I could not cease to attach some fatality: I had a vague dread that I should find her mixed up with the dreary drama of my life--that some new sickening vision would reveal her to me as an evil genius.
these walls - these ivy-clad arcades - These mouldering plinths - these sad and blackened shafts - These vague entablatures - this crumbling frieze - These shattered cornices - this wreck - this ruin - These stones - alas
He bade a quick goodnight to these sincere and simple souls whom he loved so well; who knew neither the world, the flesh, nor the devil in their own hearts; only as something vague and external to themselves.
There was really, even now, no tangible evidence to the contrary; but since the previous night a vague dread had hung on his sky-line.
No; but I thought that I heard vague sounds below us, and, as I don't exactly know where the wind has carried us to, even an excess of caution would do no harm.
It reminds you of a placid rivulet, meandering smoothly through green pastures and shaded by pleasant trees, till at last it falls into the vasty sea; but the sea is so calm, so silent, so indifferent, that you are troubled suddenly by a vague uneasiness.
He was regarded by boys and masters with a vague dislike, and it was from arrogance that Philip now sought his society.