vague

(redirected from vaguely)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms.

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 ?
Thick clouds of steam were pouring off the wreckage, and through the tumultuously whirling wisps I could see, inter- mittently and vaguely, the gigantic limbs churning the water and flinging a splash and spray of mud and froth into the air.
she repeated after me, vaguely, not coming close to the window but looking at my shoes.
She felt vaguely the pity of that child deprived of the only love in the world that is quite unselfish.
The gazettes from which the old prince first heard of the defeat at Austerlitz stated, as usual very briefly and vaguely, that after brilliant engagements the Russians had had to retreat and had made their withdrawal in perfect order.
said Katharine, very vaguely, standing up to receive the embrace.
Katharine repeated her mother's words softly and vaguely, looking past her.
She vaguely tried to calculate the altitude of the pinnacle from which he must have looked down upon her.
And yet, while it frightened her, she was vaguely stirred with pride in him.
Vaguely, too, I remember, my father carried me in his arms to the trees on the edge of the field, while all the world reeled and swung about me, and I was aware of deadly nausea mingled with an appalling conviction of sin.
Why, y-yes, Pollyanna," murmured Miss Polly, vaguely wondering why she did not get up at once and go to look for that shawl.
He had never clearly thought out the subject, but he had vaguely conceived that his wife must long ago have suspected him of being unfaithful to her, and shut her eyes to the fact.
His wife had preceded him some time before, and with her ample form defined vaguely under the counterpane, her head on the pillow, and a hand under the cheek offered to his distraction the view of early drowsiness arguing the possession of an equable soul.