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

The circumstances surrounding the second student’s death are unclear, and mental health advocates cautioned against jumping to conclusions. Katie Mettler, The Seattle Times, "Parkland student dies in ‘apparent suicide,’ police say," 24 Mar. 2019 Regulation is still unclear, which has scared off some potential users. Paul Vigna, WSJ, "Bitcoin Is in the Dumps, Spreading Gloom Over Crypto World," 19 Mar. 2019 The exact reason that Meghan and Harry have chosen to move out of their Cotswold home early is unclear, although a source allegedly told the Daily Mail that the move was linked to security concerns. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Are Reportedly Moving Out of Their Cotswold Home," 19 Jan. 2019 Also unclear, but perhaps the unauthorized party only recently started accessing the system. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Marriott Starwood hotel data breach FAQ: What 500 million hacked guests need to know," 30 Nov. 2018 It’s unclear if the hackers took advantage of that access, Facebook execs say, but that’s not the point. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Why should anybody trust Facebook with their personal data?," 28 Sep. 2018 Despite being a popular piece of jewelry associated with the royal family, its origin story is still somewhat unclear. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton's Gold Shamrock Brooch Has a Rich History with the Royal Family," 17 Mar. 2019 Whether or not Kate and Clarke will cross paths in relation to the campaign is unclear right now, but both women are obviously staunch supporters of the amazing work that individuals in the nursing profession do on a daily basis. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton & Emilia Clarke Share a Special Connection," 16 Mar. 2019 What’s unclear about USB4 is whether everything in Thunderbolt 3 will carry over: connecting a pair of 4K monitors at 60Hz using DisplayPort, peer-to-peer networking, and more. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "The new USB4 spec promises a lot: Thunderbolt 3 support, 40Gbps bandwidth, and less confusion," 5 Mar. 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

10 Apr 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).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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