vague·​ly ˈvāg-lē How to pronounce vaguely (audio)
: in a vague way: such as
: somewhat or slightly
He's vaguely familiar with the area.
… men on foot, dressed vaguely like janitors …A. L. Kennedy
: not clearly
There were grants, he explained vaguely, that had to be spent before the money went back to the federal government, so my main job was to buy lavish art books, as quickly as possible.Michael Blaine
Where once the city was a battleground for two main militias … now at least five militias claim vaguely defined pockets as their own.Jeffrey Bartholet
I've always believed closers are like girlfriends: You remember the great ones, you remember the awful ones and you vaguely remember everyone in between. (You could say the same about hockey goalies and field goal kickers.)Bill Simmons

Examples of vaguely in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Designer Andrew Lieberman’s set was both minimal and vaguely cranial — an opaque cylinder center stage, cleaved through by one of the asylum’s dreary hallways and topped like a shock of hair by Candillari’s 12-piece ensemble. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2023 Under the broad and vaguely worded legislation, any politician who is not a patriot to Beijing has been purged or punished by the government. Alexandra Stevenson, New York Times, 21 Sep. 2023 French director Luc Besson, looking vaguely and uncharacteristically concerned, attempted to explain. Rachel Handler, Vulture, 2 Sep. 2023 The audience at this point is vaguely aware of Alpha’s murderous tendencies. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 25 Aug. 2023 The problem is the answers do look vaguely correct. IEEE Spectrum, 26 Aug. 2023 All the men are kicked to the curb except for a vaguely humanoid robot donning a baseball cat. Mary Walrath-Holdridge, USA TODAY, 26 Aug. 2023 Tyler was a Rookie of the Year finalist, but that distinction ultimately went to Destroy Lonely, a vaguely emo balladeer with ropey blond dreads. M.t. Richards, Rolling Stone, 25 Aug. 2023 The vaguely optimistic tone was echoed by Anatoly Petrukovich, also of the Space Research Institute which led Luna-25’s scientific operations. Anton Troianovski, New York Times, 20 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vaguely.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1663, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vaguely was in 1663

Dictionary Entries Near vaguely

Cite this Entry

“Vaguely.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on vaguely

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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