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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of unclear in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Though the exact setting is unclear, the area boasts seriously scenic views including the Vancouver Lookout, which is essentially Vancouver's version of Seattle's Space Needle. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Hallmark's 'A Midnight Kiss' Was Filmed in a Romantic City That's Perfect for New Year's," 29 Dec. 2018 Details on how that additional work will get done are unclear, said Hubbard and Idaho State Forester David Groeschl. Keith Ridler, The Seattle Times, "Idaho, US sign logging and forest restoration agreement," 18 Dec. 2018 What’s still unclear is how Benioff will personally make that impact beyond signing the checks. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Watch Marc Benioff try to explain what he’s going to do with Time magazine," 14 Nov. 2018 Also unclear is who plays the weakside spot if Wright is out. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks Tuesday injury report: K.J. Wright again out but Chris Carson and D.J. Fluker are full go," 13 Nov. 2018 His status for Milwaukee's next game, which will likely be Wednesday as part of the summer-league tournament, remains unclear. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks sign rookie guard Donte DiVincenzo," 10 July 2018 It’s unclear if there have been any immediate repercussions against the police officer. Fox News, "MLK's daughter calls for Waffle House boycott, NAACP LDF demands police footage after choking video goes viral," 2 Oct. 2018 What proportion of the industry’s growth will come from the startups is unclear, but the new brands don’t think a competitor’s growth will necessarily hurt them. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Why ads for bedding startups are all over the subway," 5 Oct. 2018 Whether this will actually happen in the series is unclear, but Twitter user apolausticx pointed out that this might come to light later on. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "5 "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Fan Theories That Are So Crazy They Might Actually Be True," 3 Oct. 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.

See More

First Known Use of unclear

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unclear

Statistics for unclear

Last Updated

1 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unclear

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unclear


un·​clear | \ ˌən-ˈklir\

Kids Definition of unclear

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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