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 date of the stock listing is unclear and depends on approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Coinbase’s direct listing could make CEO Brian Armstrong one of the world’s richest people," 26 Feb. 2021 That money ends up somewhere, but its impact is still unclear. John Mauldin, Forbes, "This Isn’t Your Father’s Overvalued Market," 26 Feb. 2021 However, while harmful conversations can be flagged, some users say the procedure on holding offending users accountable is unclear, and that such individuals can still be seen on the app despite Clubhouse’s promise to take action. Time, "Queer Nigerians Hoped the Clubhouse App Would Be a Safe Haven. It's Become Another Breeding Ground for Bigotry," 26 Feb. 2021 School kidnappings were first carried out by the jihadist groups Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province but the tactic has now been adopted by other militants in the northwest whose agenda is unclear. NBC News, "Gunmen kidnap more than 300 schoolgirls in northwest Nigeria," 26 Feb. 2021 What's unclear is how that strategy would significantly improve public safety or address systemic problems with policing in Minneapolis. Editorial Board, Star Tribune, "The unconvincing case to disband the Minneapolis Police Department," 26 Feb. 2021 Points of entry are unclear; the assumed safety of shelter feels precarious, even slightly threatened. Taylor Aldridge, ELLE Decor, "What Do Our Rooms Say About Us? The Answers Might Surprise You," 26 Feb. 2021 The Biden administration's attitude toward the larger issue is unclear. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Connecticut federal court weighs dismissal of Title IX transgender sports case," 26 Feb. 2021 Though Woods' path forward is unclear, what is clear is how many people are rooting for him, for his legacy, and for all the years of his influence and greatness to rise again with one more shining, improbable victory. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Tiger Woods made us realize it's ok to love an imperfect athlete," 25 Feb. 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

Statistics for unclear

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unclear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unclear. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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