nebulous was our Word of the Day on 06/23/2012. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of nebulous in a Sentence
These philosophical concepts can be nebulous.
made nebulous references to some major changes the future may hold
Recent Examples of nebulous from the Web
In 2016 and 2017, three-quarters of the arrests have been for other, often nebulous reasons, such as endangering national security.
Nebulous characterization aside, newcomer Davidson is fine.
On the other occasion, San Diego was contained by a more nebulous force.
On June 25, Anonymous—or at least, someone claiming to be affiliated with the nebulous group—released a lengthy video filled with outlandish conspiracy-theory claims.
Brown’s performance latches on to that nebulous horror of the banal, and turns it into high drama.
The evidence at this point is a little nebulous on which fats directly contribute to heart problems.
Soldiers, police, civil servants and even civilians — including children and Muslims — have been the targets of the insurgents, a disparate group with nebulous leadership.
The Texas bill’s clinical trial and IRB requirements seem to weed out some dubious therapies, but the language is too nebulous to protect patients, says Beth Roxland, a bioethicist at New York University’s Langone Medical Center in New York City.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nebulous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Nebulous comes from the Latin word nebulosus, meaning "misty," which in turn comes from nebula, meaning "mist," "fog," or "cloud." In the 18th century, English speakers borrowed "nebula" and gave it a somewhat more specific meaning than the Latin version. In English, "nebula" refers to a cloud of gas or dust in deep space, or in less technical contexts, simply to a galaxy. "Nebulous" itself, when it doesn't have interstellar implications, usually means "cloudy" or "foggy" in a figurative sense. One's memory of a long-past event, for example, will often be nebulous; a teenager might give a nebulous recounting of an evening's events upon coming home; or a politician might make a campaign promise but give only a nebulous description of how he or she would fulfill it.
Origin and Etymology of nebulous
First Known Use: 1674See Words from the same year
Synonymsambiguous, arcane, cryptic, dark, deep, Delphic, double-edged, elliptical (or elliptic), enigmatic (also enigmatical), equivocal, fuliginous, inscrutable, murky, mysterious, mystic, obscure, occult, opaque
Antonymsaccessible, clear, nonambiguous, obvious, plain, unambiguous, unequivocal
Related Wordsabstruse, esoteric, recondite; cloaked, concealed, disguised, masked, shrouded; beclouded, bedimmed, befogged, clouded, cloudy, dim, faint, foggy, fuzzy, hazy, indistinct, indistinguishable, misty, muddy, obfuscatory, obnubilated, obscurant (or obscurantic), shaded, shadowlike, shadowy, sphinxlike; indefinite, inexact, inexplicit, noncommittal, questionable, unclear, uncertain, undefined, undetermined, vague; impenetrable, incomprehensible, indecipherable, inexplicable; eerie (also eery), uncanny, weird; impalpable, inappreciable, intangible, invisible; unanswerable, unknowable; baffling, bewildering, confounding, confusing, mystifying, perplexing, puzzling, unfathomable; circuitous, indirect, roundabout; complex, complicated, difficult, obtuse
Near Antonymscomprehensible, fathomable, intelligible, knowable, legible, pellucid, understandable; bright, distinct, evident, self-evident, self-explanatory; certain, firm, strong, sure; defined, determined; direct, straightforward; definite, exact, explicit; appreciable, palpable, tangible, visible; blatant, patent, unmistakable
NEBULOUS Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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