Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “vague”


adjective uk   /veɪɡ/ us  
C1 not clearly expressed, known, described, or decided: I do have a vague memory of meeting her many years ago. The patient had complained of vague pains and backache.UncertaintyHesitatingAchievable C1 not clear in shape, or not clearly seen: Through the mist I could just make out a vague figure.Indistinct and invisible C2 describes someone who is not able to think clearly, or who gives an impression of not thinking clearly in order to hide their real thoughts: My aunt is incredibly vague - she can never remember where she's left things. Their report is studiously vague (= intentionally not exact) on future economic prospects.Difficult to understandComplicated and difficult to doPuzzle and confuse
adverb uk   /-li/ us  
I vaguely remembered having met her before.UncertaintyHesitatingAchievable
noun [U] uk   /-nəs/ us  
(Definition of vague from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of vague?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Difficult to understand, but you might be interested in these topics from the Knowing and understanding topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More meanings of “vague”

Definitions of “vague” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


When animals or people stampede, they all move quickly in the same direction, often because they are frightened.

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More