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 aboutwas 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



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Examples of unclear in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Apple also said the Pencil could be equipped with a camera, but exactly what that would be used for is unclear. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Apple Talks About Privacy and App Store Sales," 11 Jan. 2020 Whether his fellow Democrats in the Legislature will agree to follow his lead is unclear. Los Angeles Times, "Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget envisions an activist agenda but limits higher spending," 10 Jan. 2020 The timing for the exact transmission is unclear, but the earliest the House could vote on the resolution codifying the move and naming the impeachment managers, the lawmakers who will argue the Democrats’ case in the Senate, is Tuesday. Alana Abramson, Time, "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Confirms Path Forward on Impeachment," 10 Jan. 2020 How exactly the virus makes it into a person is still unclear. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "Cases of mysterious shrew-transmitted disease double," 7 Jan. 2020 Whether or how much metrics influenced Camacho’s rebuff of the DNR request is unclear. Caroline Chen, ProPublica, "The Family Wanted a Do Not Resuscitate Order. The Doctors Didn’t.," 31 Dec. 2019 Season 1 ended with 16-year-old Moriah purchasing a one-way ticket to Minnesota, so its unclear what family members would be involved in a second season. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, "Will 'Welcome to Plathville' Have a Season 2? One of the Kids Certainly Hopes So," 28 Dec. 2019 What this means for the overall trajectory of the flu season is unclear. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "The flu is worse this holiday season than it was last year," 21 Dec. 2019 Previously, the oldest Archaeopteris fossils were no more than 365 million years old, Berry says, and exactly when the tree evolved its modern-looking features has been unclear. Colin Barras, Science | AAAS, "Scientists have discovered the world’s oldest forest—and its radical impact on life," 19 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for unclear

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

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Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unclear.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unclear. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for unclear


How to pronounce unclear (audio)

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).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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