Synonym Chooser

How is the word vague different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of vague are ambiguous, cryptic, dark, enigmatic, equivocal, and obscure. While all these words mean "not clearly understandable," vague implies a lack of clear formulation due to inadequate conception or consideration.

a vague sense of obligation

When could ambiguous be used to replace vague?

Although the words ambiguous and vague have much in common, ambiguous applies to language capable of more than one interpretation.

an ambiguous directive

When would cryptic be a good substitute for vague?

While in some cases nearly identical to vague, cryptic implies a purposely concealed meaning.

cryptic hints of hidden treasure

Where would dark be a reasonable alternative to vague?

The synonyms dark and vague are sometimes interchangeable, but dark implies an imperfect or clouded revelation often with ominous or sinister suggestion.

muttered dark hints of revenge

In what contexts can enigmatic take the place of vague?

The words enigmatic and vague are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, enigmatic stresses a puzzling, mystifying quality.

enigmatic occult writings

When might equivocal be a better fit than vague?

While the synonyms equivocal and vague are close in meaning, equivocal applies to language left open to differing interpretations with the intention of deceiving or evading.

moral precepts with equivocal phrasing

When can obscure be used instead of vague?

The words obscure and vague can be used in similar contexts, but obscure implies a hiding or veiling of meaning through some inadequacy of expression or withholding of full knowledge.

obscure poems

Thesaurus Entries Near vague

Cite this Entry

“Vague.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

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