Definition of nebulous
nebulous was our Word of the Day on 06/23/2012. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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
On the other occasion, San Diego was contained by a more nebulous force.
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.
The total for road players is more nebulous, and Moustakas’ homer offered a brief lesson in what counts and what does not.
But poets, philosophers and psychologists alike have long seen love as intangible and nebulous, beyond our abilities to define.
Arbin told the newspaper that without any formal guidance from the attorney general’s office, his patrol officers are working under the assumption that Maryland’s laws about such public nudity are nebulous and difficult to enforce.
The confused and nebulous forces of right and wrong, which, for most of us, hung impalpable over the battlefields in the early days of Armageddon, have shaped themselves unmistakably now.
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
Latin nebulosus misty, from nebula
First Known Use: 1674See Words from the same year
NEBULOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of nebulous for English Language Learners
: not clear : difficult to see, understand, describe, etc.
NEBULOUS Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up nebulous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).