un·​clear | \ ˌən-ˈklir How to pronounce unclear (audio) \

Definition of unclear

: not clear: such as
a : difficult to understand an unclear explanation unclear instructions an unclear reference
b : confused or uncertain about something often used with about was a little unclear about how to proceed

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from unclear

unclearly adverb
speaking unclearly an unclearly remembered incident

Synonyms & Antonyms for unclear



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of unclear in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The circumstances under which the migrants went overboard were unclear, said Safa Msehli, a spokeswoman for the International Organization for Migration. Samy Magdy, Star Tribune, 21 July 2021 Running back Rhamondre Stevenson, who went in the fourth round, did miss some practice time this spring, although his injury is unclear. BostonGlobe.com, 21 July 2021 The number of patients with long COVID is unclear, since most people who develop COVID-19 are not hospitalized and therefore not tracked by the CDC. Kellie Hwang, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 July 2021 Whether enough customers will eventually come is unclear, but the hardware, at least, is ready to fly them. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 20 July 2021 According to court documents obtained by the Tulsa World, Lorraine and Eric are related, but their exact relationship was unclear. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, 20 July 2021 The team then moved its attention to other pieces of hardware that could have caused the payload computer to shut down, but the culprit is still unclear. Sudiksha Kochi, USA TODAY, 20 July 2021 Some scientists questioned the decision, saying that the long-term effects of Covid-19 on children were unclear and that leaving them unvaccinated could turbocharge infections when schools start next month. Mark Landler, New York Times, 19 July 2021 KAABOO San Diego is set to return after a two-year hiatus, although details about exactly when and where the upscale music, comedy and food festival will take place are unclear. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unclear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of unclear

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About unclear

Time Traveler for unclear

Time Traveler

The first known use of unclear was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near unclear




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for unclear

Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unclear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unclear. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unclear



English Language Learners Definition of unclear

: difficult to understand
: confused or uncertain about something


un·​clear | \ ˌən-ˈklir \

Kids Definition of unclear

: difficult to understand or make sense of Your directions are unclear.

More from Merriam-Webster on unclear

Nglish: Translation of unclear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unclear for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!