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

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Other Words from unclear

unclearly adverb
speaking unclearly an unclearly remembered incident

Synonyms & Antonyms for unclear


fuzzy, indefinite, inexplicit, muzzy, vague


clear, definite, explicit, specific

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Examples of unclear in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

His free agency status is unclear: What will he get offered this summer? Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors will feature a new look at Chase Center," 14 June 2019 But the Marvel-Netflix universe might particularly linger in fans’ minds because the exact cause of its series’ abrupt ends has been unclear. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Marvel-Netflix Universe’s Final Hero," 14 June 2019 Tillery is listed as a member of the Health Gap's board of directors on the organization's website, but his role is unclear. Jason Williams, Cincinnati.com, "PX column: Cincinnati City Council quietly approves $750,000 for Health Gap. 'Moment of real change' or more of the same?," 14 June 2019 The extent to which phajaan persists in its harshest form is unclear. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, "Suffering unseen: The dark truth behind wildlife tourism," 12 June 2019 Yet the question of where Hong Kong will go from here and what its future holds is unclear. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Hong Kong’s government has a message for one million protesters: We can’t hear you," 9 June 2019 But scientists are unclear when and where these early migrants moved from place to place. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "Closest-known ancestor of today’s Native Americans found in Siberia," 5 June 2019 The killer was eventually gunned down, and whether the delay contributed to the toll of 12 victims dead and four wounded is unclear. Denise Lavoie, Twin Cities, "Police were thwarted by electronic doors during the Virginia Beach shooting," 5 June 2019 Her plans for personnel — or anything, for that matter — are unclear. Claudia Vargas, https://www.inquirer.com, "Register of Wills employees try to unionize following voters’ ouster of longtime boss," 5 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of unclear

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unclear

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for unclear

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

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on unclear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unclear

Spanish Central: Translation of unclear

Nglish: Translation of unclear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unclear for Arabic Speakers

Comments on unclear

What made you want to look up unclear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing courage and determination

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