un·clear | \ ˌən-ˈklir \

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

It’s unclear if G2 had a major cost savings by coming to Port of San Diego. Phillip Molnar, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Port of San Diego lands large liner contract," 9 July 2018 Though talc is on the National Cancer Institute’s list as an unclear risk factor for ovarian cancer, alongside alcohol and diet, Temkin is not convinced talc is dangerous, and here’s why. Elizabeth Inglese, Vogue, "Why Johnson & Johnson’s $4.7 Billion Baby Powder Lawsuit Is Important for Women Everywhere," 13 July 2018 What’s unclear is whether Microsoft is providing the dongle as a sop to those who are investing in the USB-C interface and peripherals, or whether Microsoft sees USB-C as a true replacement for the Surface Connector. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's $80 Surface USB-C dongle suggests there'll be no new Surface Dock," 25 June 2018 Whether the cause is the ever-increasing numbers of hatchery pinks competing for food in the ocean or something else is unclear at present. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Bristol Bay is a happy place right now, but time — and the marketplace – will tell if those smiles last," 17 June 2018 Working major incident in the 800 block of North 7th, details unclear at this time. Lynn Horsley, Steve Vockrodt And Andy Marso, kansascity, "One Wyandotte County deputy killed, one critical in shooting near KCK courthouse," 15 June 2018 The reasons for the constraints on Kushner's intelligence access are unclear, including whether they are related to the ongoing special counsel investigation, which has examined his interactions with foreign officials. Carol D. Leonnig, Anchorage Daily News, "Limits still remain on security clearance for Trump son-in-law Kushner," 13 July 2018 Hidden identity The identity of their makers is, for now, unclear: no hominin bones have been recovered at Shangchen. Colin Barras, Scientific American, "Tools from China are Oldest Hint of Human Lineage Outside Africa," 11 July 2018 But that number is impossible to verify and the details of these projects are unclear. Radhika Viswanathan, Vox, "Elon Musk’s big, failed plan to bring a mini-submarine to rescue the Thai boys," 10 July 2018

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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Phrases Related to unclear

unclear on the concept of

Statistics for unclear

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

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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


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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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