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vague

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj vague not clearly understood or expressed "an obscure turn of phrase","an impulse to go off and fight certain obscure battles of his own spirit"-Anatole Broyard","their descriptions of human behavior become vague, dull, and unclear"- P.A.Sorokin","vague...forms of speech...have so long passed for mysteries of science"- John Locke"
    • adj vague not precisely limited, determined, or distinguished "an undefined term","undefined authority","some undefined sense of excitement","vague feelings of sadness","a vague uneasiness"
    • adj vague lacking clarity or distinctness "a dim figure in the distance","only a faint recollection","shadowy figures in the gloom","saw a vague outline of a building through the fog","a few wispy memories of childhood"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Vague A wandering; a vagary.
    • n Vague An indefinite expanse. "The gray vague of unsympathizing sea."
    • Vague Proceeding from no known authority; unauthenticated; uncertain; flying; as, a vague report. "Some legend strange and vague ."
    • v. i Vague To wander; to roam; to stray. "Why wilt thou err from me?""What seemeth to you, if there were to a man an hundred sheep and one of them hath erred .""The soul] doth vague and wander."
    • Vague Unsettled; unfixed; undetermined; indefinite; ambiguous; as, a vague idea; a vague proposition. "This faith is neither a mere fantasy of future glory, nor a vague ebullition of feeling.""The poet turned away, and gave himself up to a sort of vague revery, which he called thought."
    • Vague Wandering; vagrant; vagabond. "To set upon the vague villains.""She danced along with vague, regardless eyes."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • vague Wandering; roving; vagrant.
    • vague Uncertain as to characters and specific designation, yet limited in scope and application; restricted in logical breadth, without any corresponding fullness of logical depth; said to be determinate, but without precise expression of the determination. Thus, if anything is described as most extraordinary without saying in what respect, the description is vague; if a word is understood to have a full import but what that is is doubtful, it is vague; if an emotion is strong but unaccompanied by a definite imagination of its object, it is vague; if a pictorial figure represents that something exists but fails to show its shape, situation, etc., it is vague. This meaning of the word (which occurs seldom before the eighteenth century without an explanatory accompaniment) seems to be derived from the logical phrase individuum vagum, meaning a single person or thing, designated as one in number, but without its proper name or any adequate description: as, “a certain man.”
    • vague Proceeding from no known authority; of uncertain origin or derivation: as, a vague report.
    • vague Having unclear perception or thought; not thinking clearly.
    • n vague A wandering; a journey; a voyage.
    • n vague A vagary; a whim.
    • n vague An undefined expanse: indefinite space.
    • vague To wander; rove; roam; play the vagrant.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Vague vāg unsettled: indefinite: uncertain: of doubtful origin: not thinking clearly
    • v.i Vague (obs.) to wander
    • n Vague indefinite expanse
    • ***

Quotations

  • Bill Cosby
    Bill%20Cosby
    “The very first law in advertising is to avoid the concrete promise and cultivate the delightfully vague.”
  • George Ade
    George Ade
    “For parlor use, the vague generality is a life saver.”
  • Raymond Smullyan
    Raymond Smullyan
    “Some people are always critical of vague statements. I tend rather to be critical of precise statements; they are the only ones which can correctly be labeled wrong.”
  • Aleister Crowley
    Aleister%20Crowley
    “The pious pretence that evil does not exist only makes it vague, enormous and menacing.”
  • Charles Sanders Peirce
    Charles Sanders Peirce
    “All the evolution we know of proceeds from the vague to the definite.”
  • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
    Johann%20Wolfgang%20Von%20Goethe
    “A person is never happy till their vague strivings has itself marked out its proper limitations.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. vague, or L. vagus,. See Vague (v. i.)

Usage

In literature:

Then there was a queer sound of cracking somewhere, vague, faint, and yet formidable.
"Clayhanger" by Arnold Bennett
He's pretty vague about them.
"Legacy" by James H Schmitz
His vague blue eyes were fixed in benign bewilderment upon the Dictator's face.
"The Dictator" by Justin McCarthy
A vague apprehension was within me; my heart was pounding unreasonably.
"Tarrano the Conqueror" by Raymond King Cummings
When interrogated concerning her employers, Toni was always vague.
"The Making of a Soul" by Kathlyn Rhodes
She forgot Temperley's name, and her introduction was vague.
"The Daughters of Danaus" by Mona Caird
He was angrily conscious of a vague disquiet.
"The Sins of Séverac Bablon" by Sax Rohmer
She knew vaguely which direction to take, and supposed that if she kept on long enough, she would ultimately reach her destination.
"The Golden Shoemaker" by J. W. Keyworth
Therefore our task must necessarily be an imperfect one, and convey but a vague idea of the living presence.
"Fairy Fingers" by Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
It is no mere entrance into a vague heaven.
"Expositions of Holy Scripture" by Alexander Maclaren
She had a vague feeling that she was a witness to a vow.
"The Snowshoe Trail" by Edison Marshall
When he paused, Mrs. Leyburn said, vaguely, 'Did you say he was a canon of somewhere?
"Robert Elsmere" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
At first it had been fear that kept me at a distance, but now it was something vague, which resembled a sentiment of respect.
"Nobody's Boy" by Hector Malot
It was vaguely familiar to her somehow.
"Stubble" by George Looms
It was my first sight of Mercury except vague, distant glimpses of its surface through the mist coming down.
"The Fire People" by Ray Cummings
She could not have put her vague thought into words.
"In Connection with the De Willoughby Claim" by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Sometimes her vagueness, in which he was lost, made him angry, made him rage.
"The Rainbow" by D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
He longed vaguely for a longing that had been his, and which was gone.
"The Trimming of Goosie" by James Hopper
He had been very vague.
"The Golden Woman" by Ridgwell Cullum
It was only toward the end of those hours that he noticed vaguely that the tentacles were waving faster and faster.
"Astounding Stories, April, 1931" by Various
***

In poetry:

With regret
I forget
If the song be living yet,
Yet remember, vaguely now,
It was honest, anyhow.
"A Worn-Out Pencil" by James Whitcomb Riley
For me, I think of you as One
Who vaguely pined for worthier lot
Than to be blinked at like the sun,
But found it not.
"Off Mesolongi" by Alfred Austin
There is a noise as of a voice
That calls beneath the sea;
And all the deep grows pale with sleep
And vague expectancy.
"The City Of Darkness" by Madison Julius Cawein
Restless and vague as a gray wind
Her heart had grown, she knew not why.
But hurrying to the open door,
Against the verge of western sky
"The Eavesdropper" by Bliss William Carman
And when I answer you, some days
Vaguely and wildly, do not fear
That my love walks forbidden ways,
Breaking the ties that hold it here.
"Sullen Moods" by Robert Graves
With vague dead gleam the morning white
Comes through the window-panes;
The clouds have fallen all the night,
Without the noise of rains.
"Songs of the Winter Days" by George MacDonald

In news:

AIIM content management research shows steady Enterprise 2.0 growth--but also vague understanding of the topic.
It vaguely evokes the 1972 porn classic Behind the Green Door, a film both entertaining and (mildly) instructive.
W e suspect the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte will be a vaguely tragic affair.
Expect nothing, and maybe you'll get that little outta-nowhere sumpin'-sumpin' that turns an otherwise unfulfilling occurrence into a vaguely rewarding experience.
You may have heard some vague mention of the circumstances of the recent death of pop idol, Michael Jackson.
What could a combination of vague cat health symptoms be CAT FANCY and CatChannel.com's veterinary expert answers.
Schedules a show vaguely near Boston.
Vaguely Worded Constitutional Amendment on Ballot Targets Public Employees.
The president's cowardly vagueness .
Romney's policy vagueness pays off.
Romney's shift, vagueness, success and more.
Paul Ryan's cowardly vagueness .
Afghan command nominee vague on troop withdrawal timetable.
The Vaguely Interested Man's Guide to The Summer Olympics .
OTTUMWA — Parents may vaguely remember the pressures they dealt with as a child.
***

In science:

Then (a rather vague) question is For what functions f are the two norms kf kL2 (B ) and kf kL2(T) equivalent? More specifically, consider functions f whose Fourier transform ˆf is supported by a fixed set of integers Λ.
Coordinate restrictions of linear operators in $l_2^n$
It is compact, in the vague topology, by the Banach-Alaoglu theorem.
A Thinning Analogue of de Finetti's Theorem
Of course, M+ (S ) is endowed with the weak topology from Cc(S ), also called the vague topology.
Generic sets in spaces of measures and generic singular continuous spectrum for Delone Hamiltonians
In particular, we note that the vague topology is metrizable such that M+ (S ) becomes a complete metric space, as we consider second countable spaces.
Generic sets in spaces of measures and generic singular continuous spectrum for Delone Hamiltonians
For a de finition of vague convergence and its implications, s ee .
Stability of the Absolutely Continuous Spectrum of Random Schroedinger Operators on Tree Graphs
R bution in the space Mp(R with the vague topology and N is a Poisson random measure with mean measure µ.
Functional large deviations for multivariate regularly varying random walks
Therefore, (3.1) cannot be stated in terms of vague convergence toward µ∗ .
Functional large deviations for multivariate regularly varying random walks
The αn obey |αn | < 1 and Verblunsky’s theorem [17, 19] says that µ 7→ {αn (dµ)}∞ n=0 is a bicontinuous bijection from the non-trivial measures on ∂D with the topology of vague convergence to D∞ with the product topology.
Eigenvalue estimates for non-normal matrices and the zeros of random orthogonal polynomials on the unit circle
We first prove that the measure EΛ(·) converges vaguely to zero by computing the Laplace transform of the measure.
Some new estimates on the spectral shift function associated with random Schr\"{o}dinger operators
To prove the vague convergence on H, it suffices to show additionally that for each ε > 0 there is n such that λr (Kn ) < ε eventually for all r .
Weak and almost sure limits for the parabolic Anderson model with heavy tailed potentials
To prove the vague convergence on H q τ, we need to show that, additionally, for each ε > 0, there is n such that λr (K q τ, n ) < ε eventually for all r .
Weak and almost sure limits for the parabolic Anderson model with heavy tailed potentials
It is stated in, but the proof is only vaguely sketched there.
Average volume, curvatures, and Euler characteristic of random real algebraic varieties
This in turn follows once we show vague convergence.
Uniform existence of the integrated density of states for random Schr\"odinger operators on metric graphs over $\mathbb{Z}^d$
The Weisskopf-Wigner approximate methods provide only a vague and approximate relation, see (2.9) below.
Time Asymmetry in Quantum Physics - I. Theoretical Conclusion from Resonance and Decay-Phenomenology
Note that Chung uses words “vague convergence ” to denote that kind of convergence which is more often called the weak convergence of probability measures.
A Proof of a Non-Commutative Central Limit Theorem by the Lindeberg Method
***