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Vague   /veɪg/   Listen
Vague

adjective
(compar. vaguer; superl. vaguest)
1.
Not clearly understood or expressed.  Synonym: obscure.  "An impulse to go off and fight certain obscure battles of his own spirit" , "Their descriptions of human behavior become vague, dull, and unclear" , "Vague...forms of speech...have so long passed for mysteries of science"
2.
Not precisely limited, determined, or distinguished.  Synonym: undefined.  "Undefined authority" , "Some undefined sense of excitement" , "Vague feelings of sadness" , "A vague uneasiness"
3.
Lacking clarity or distinctness.  Synonyms: dim, faint, shadowy, wispy.  "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"



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"Vague" Quotes from Famous Books



... little into the detail of particulars of which I see your Lordship is very much master. Your Lordship's particular facts will be of great use to correct my general views; but the latter, I fear, will always be too vague and superficial to be of much use ...
— Life of Adam Smith • John Rae

... seeing and hearing about the presents the school-girls were making, she had been full of vague longings to do something for some one; but she had neither money nor material, and was not at all sure how a present from her would be received by her father and mother. "Perhaps I might make a pin-ball," she thought, beginning to search through the old chest of drawers that stood at the ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, January 1878, No. 3 • Various

... that it meant mischief. Every purple flush of its hideous body told me so. The vague, goggling eyes which were turned always upon me were cold and merciless in their viscid hatred. I dipped the nose of my monoplane downwards to escape it. As I did so, as quick as a flash there shot out a long tentacle from this mass of floating blubber, and it fell ...
— Tales of Terror and Mystery • Arthur Conan Doyle

... cried. "If you be friends, stop; if foes, come on!" Then the nine shadowy foes raised a shout, and fell upon the hero; but he fought hard and slew them, and beheaded them. A second and a third time similar groups of vague, shadowy foemen rushed at him, and he slew them all in like manner, and then, wearied out, ...
— Hero-Myths & Legends of the British Race • Maud Isabel Ebbutt

... sense of calm. The rush and hurry and frivolity of society seemed put away and done with; through her open window she could hear the rustling of leaves and the singing of birds;—the room in which she found herself pleased her taste as well as her sentiment,—and though the faintest shadow of vague wonder crossed her mind as to what she would do with her time, now that she had gained her own way and was actually all alone in the heart of the country, she did not permit such a thought to trouble her peace. The grave tranquillity of the old house was already beginning ...
— God's Good Man • Marie Corelli

... soften and refine his heart, were now exchanged for a host of actual, ignoble vexations, which it was even more humiliating than painful to encounter. His misanthropy, instead of being, as heretofore, a vague and abstract feeling, without any object to light upon, and losing therefore its acrimony in diffusion, was now, by the hostility he came in contact with, condensed into individual enmities, and narrowed into personal resentments; and from the lofty, and, as it appeared to himself, ...
— Life of Lord Byron, With His Letters And Journals, Vol. 5 (of 6) • (Lord Byron) George Gordon Byron

... never seen any persimmons in her life, as they did not grow near her home, and she had a vague idea that they were like apples, only smaller, perhaps. It did not take the girls very long to get ready, and in a little while they were all on their way, so happy that it was hard work to keep in procession, and not ...
— Ruby at School • Minnie E. Paull

... particular Kaddish if they were mourners, and then thrills of reverence went round the congregation. The social hierarchy was to some extent graduated by synagogal contributions, and whoever could afford only a little offering had it announced as a "gift"—a vague term which might equally be the ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... ventured on a suggestion, that the priceless woman he could call wife was fast slipping away from him and withering in her allegiance. He did allude to his personal sentiment. 'One takes aim at Philosophy; Lady Fleetwood pulls us up to pay tribute to our debts.' But this was vague, and his hearer needed a present thunder and lightning ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... destiny! The Spirit saw 325 The vast frame of the renovated world Smile in the lap of Chaos, and the sense Of hope thro' her fine texture did suffuse Such varying glow, as summer evening casts On undulating clouds and deepening lakes. 330 Like the vague sighings of a wind at even, That wakes the wavelets of the slumbering sea And dies on the creation of its breath, And sinks and rises, fails and swells by fits, Was the sweet stream of thought that ...
— The Daemon of the World • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... entertained him with that sort of observant courtesy which falls to the lot of the rich relation, the children made much of him, and the old butler, albeit somewhat surly "to the general," treated him with deference. I thought, observing him by the vague mixture of lamplight and twilight, that Mrs. Jelf's cousin looked all the worse for the three years' wear and tear which had gone over his head since our last meeting. He was very pale, and had a restless light in his eye that I did not remember ...
— Stories by English Authors: England • Various

... special matter. A second conception of sociology which is to be dismissed as inadequate is the conception that it is the science of social phenomena. This conception is not incorrect, but is somewhat vague, as there are manifestly other sciences of social phenomena, such as economics and political science. Such a conception of sociology would make it include everything in human society. A third faulty conception is that it is the science of human institutions. This is faulty because it ...
— Sociology and Modern Social Problems • Charles A. Ellwood

... sympathy only have contributed to narrow the comprehension of the moral feeling as a whole. It is not love to my neighbour—whom I often do not know at all—which induces me to seize a pail of water and to rush towards his house when I see it on fire; it is a far wider, even though more vague feeling or instinct of human solidarity and sociability which moves me. So it is also with animals. It is not love, and not even sympathy (understood in its proper sense) which induces a herd of ruminants ...
— Mutual Aid • P. Kropotkin

... a few more beers to restore his faculties. He was now courageous enough, but vague in his mind and unsteady on ...
— The Missing Link • Edward Dyson

... nothing to that. Max Mainz was stirring unhappily now. These officers were talking above his head, even as they ignored him. He had a vague feeling that he was being defended by Captain Mauser, but he didn't ...
— Mercenary • Dallas McCord Reynolds

... and Giles would have a cottage in the country together. Very vague were Sue's ideas of what country life was like. She had never once been in the country; she had never seen green fields, nor smelt, as they grow fresh in the hedges, wild flowers. She imagined that flowers grew either in bunches, as ...
— Sue, A Little Heroine • L. T. Meade

... woke a vague alarm in her. What if there WAS some one concealed in the house? Some one who might bar that door on them, and leave them to die like rats in a trap? Then she realized the absurdity of her thought. The house was surrounded by police who, if they failed to reappear, would not hesitate ...
— The Secret Adversary • Agatha Christie

... of this passage-at-arms of the 1st May it was understood in Peking that Japan was meditating a serious step. That vague feeling of unrest which so speedily comes in capitals when national affairs reach a crisis was very evident, and the word "ultimatum" began to be whispered. It was felt that whilst China had held to ...
— The Fight For The Republic in China • Bertram Lenox Putnam Weale

... first sensation was that of a vague wonder as to what had happened to him. He seemed to be in darkness and unable to move hand or foot. He was compressed in some way that he could not at first understand, and was being bumped and jolted in an extraordinary manner. ...
— Tales of Daring and Danger • George Alfred Henty

... moderns, you know. Do you remember my telling you I didn't agree with them? and now this thing has come on me like a judgment. I've caught their mania for liberty, for self-realization—whatever they call it—but their remedies are vague, they fail to convince me that individuals achieve any quality by just taking what they want, regardless ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... they'd vanish like the fancies Of a fever-smitten brain, And returning, changed in outline, Elsewhere on the mighty plain Would allure the eyesore trav'ler Till the very sky above Seemed to mock with vague mirages ...
— Nancy MacIntyre • Lester Shepard Parker

... cloistral gallery dim, In early night his glance is thrown; He marks the vague reserve of heaven, He feels the touch of ocean lone; Then turns, in frame part undermined, Nor notes the shadowing ...
— John Marr and Other Poems • Herman Melville

... with the Barbarian. The Latin, like the Greek, only understood himself. The Barbarian had not the right to express himself in the language of the Empire. The world was split into two parts which endeavoured to ignore each other, Augustin has made us conscious of the nameless regions, the vague countries of the soul, which hitherto had lain shrouded in the darkness of barbarism. By him the union of the Semitic and the Occidental genius is consummated. He has acted as our interpreter for the Bible. The harsh Hebraic ...
— Saint Augustin • Louis Bertrand

... From vague, intriguing, bewildering fancies, her voice brought him back with a start. "He brought you here?" she ...
— The Highwayman • H.C. Bailey

... sky to watch the passing of a cloud, or mused before the undulating space of sea, or looked down upon the earth with the curiosity of thought, or spiritual aspiration. I was moved and governed by my sensations, which continually changed, and passed away—to come again, and deposit vague ideas which ignorantly haunted me. The literal images of all things which I saw were impressed on my shapeless mind, to be reproduced afterward by faculties then latent. But what satisfaction was that? Doubtless the ideal faculty ...
— The Morgesons • Elizabeth Stoddard

... had wept while pressing their hands. And in like fashion Mathieu fancied that, in some horrible dream, he had seen Constance's spare figure and bony profile drawing near to him in the cemetery after the coffin had been lowered into the grave, and addressing vague words of consolation to him, though he fancied that her eyes flashed the while as if with ...
— Fruitfulness - Fecondite • Emile Zola

... item. It was vague, uninforming. He needed more. He carried the Gazette back to the racks and then, after a moment's hesitation, ...
— The Skull • Philip K. Dick

... bewildered crowd That up her streets in silence hurrying passed, What manner of death should make their anguish loud, What corpse across the funeral pyre be cast, For none had spoken it; only, gathering fast As darkness gathers at noon in the sun's eclipse, A shadow of doom enfolded them, vague and vast, And a cry was heard, unfathered of earthly lips, What of the ships, O Carthage! Carthage, ...
— Poems: New and Old • Henry Newbolt

... the deck from my watches below, I instantly gazed aft to mark if any strange face were visible; for my first vague disquietude touching the unknown captain, now in the seclusion of the sea, became almost a perturbation. This was strangely heightened at times by the ragged Elijah's diabolical incoherences uninvitedly recurring to me, with a subtle energy I could ...
— Moby Dick; or The Whale • Herman Melville

... a shock of surprise that I was no longer seated on the ground. I seemed, for an instant floating, suspended as though perhaps immersed in water. The sweep of the ground level was a vague shadowy line of gray, but my legs had dropped beneath it. I was drifting down, sinking, with only Jane's hand ...
— The White Invaders • Raymond King Cummings

... and the Jesuits' Walk; and even in the Place d'Archer and the Rue Espagnole, passengers found it difficult to make their way. The assemblage could scarcely have told what detained them there, unless it were the vague expectation of more news, the repetition of the praises they loved to hear, and, perhaps, some hope of getting one more glimpse of Toussaint on this night of his triumph. From mouth to mouth circulated the words which General Laveaux had spoken in the morning, when released from ...
— The Hour and the Man - An Historical Romance • Harriet Martineau

... the cry was 'Democratic Capitalism.' That was the name Mutimer gave to his scheme! The 'Fiery Gross' had only noticed his work in a brief paragraph, a few words of faint and vague praise. 'Our comrade's noteworthy exertions in the East End.... The gain to temperance and self-respecting habits which must surely result....' The 'Beacon,' however, dealt with the movement more fully, and on the whole in ...
— Demos • George Gissing

... the lagoons that led out of the salt sea, were taboo. "Taboo," as word or sound, had no place in Jerry's vocabulary. But its definition, or significance, was there in the quickest part of his consciousness. He possessed a dim, vague, imperative knowingness that it was not merely not good, but supremely disastrous, leading to the mistily glimpsed sense of utter endingness for a dog, for any dog, to go into the water where slipped and slid and noiselessly paddled, sometimes on top, sometimes emerging from the depths, great scaly ...
— Jerry of the Islands • Jack London

... just as his typhoid was abortive typhoid, so the disturbances in England to which he alluded might well be abortive revolution, and come to nothing. I told him the vague, disconnected character of the strikes and the generally liberal as opposed to socialist character of the movement, so far as it was political at all, reminded me of what I had heard of 1905 in Russia and not at all of 1917, and that ...
— Russia in 1919 • Arthur Ransome

... rank procured him not only dignity and a new start in life but, what was still more urgent, credit. It brought him into contact with the local authorities—with the red-haired rachitic judge, for instance, between whom and Mr. Parker there sprang up an intimacy which was viewed with vague forebodings. The lady, being a Catholic—Mr. Parker, too, was suspected of Roman proclivities—was confessed by the parish priest. That was a point gained; the PARROCO being above suspicioin, among foreigners at least. She ...
— South Wind • Norman Douglas

... Thayer, the biographer of Beethoven, in 1862, became, as previously stated, the property of Mr Krehbiel, who has printed the entries, with running comment, in his "Music and Manners in the Classical Period" (London, 1898). Mr Krehbiel rightly describes some of the entries as mere "vague mnemonic hints," and adds that one entry which descants in epigrammatic fashion on the comparative morals of the women of France, Holland and England is unfit for publication. Looking over the diary, it is ...
— Haydn • J. Cuthbert Hadden

... time there seems to have been a fluctuating company, according as one actor or actress or another developed a part, and to Pantalone, Arlecchino, Dottore and Columbina were now added Pierrot—or Gilles—Mezetin, a sort of double of Pierrot, Scaramouche and Scapin. The vague web of courtship, dalliance, intrigue and jealousy called up by these characters attracted Watteau to employ them in his compositions, and to make them also the medium of the more sincere sentiments of conjugal love and friendship,—as in The Music Lesson, Gilles ...
— Six Centuries of Painting • Randall Davies

... God only knows; and one cannot cross-examine a man about his will. He did not bind me to secrecy, so I think I am justified in telling you what passed, but whether it is wise on my part to send so vague a story, I am not at all sure; but as a general rule it is best to tell everything. As I know that you hate writing letters, do not trouble yourself ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II - Volume II (of II) • Charles Darwin

... Peach blossoms were turning more pink; sight of them and the smell of them made the world irresistibly charming. Was it really he who had wallowed in janitor's dust and vault damps with a monster called "Cash Book?" Was not that but a figment of those vague nightmares he had had as a child, when he fell asleep ...
— A Canadian Bankclerk • J. P. Buschlen

... afraid. She looked towards the door as though with some vague hope of escape. She realised that the ...
— The Zeppelin's Passenger • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... first attempt, it was pretty well done, and his companions watched the result with feelings of excited earnestness, that they felt half-ashamed to admit even to themselves. There was mingled with this feeling a sort of vague incredulity, and a disposition to ridicule the idea that they were actually endeavouring to wash gold out of the ground; but when Larry's panful began to diminish, and the black sand appeared, sparkling ...
— The Golden Dream - Adventures in the Far West • R.M. Ballantyne

... very empty—that canyon. He lifted his yellow head and looked to see if Silver were there, and was comforted at the sight of his vague bulk close by, and by the steady ...
— The Flying U's Last Stand • B. M. Bower

... fruitful and productive, and a positive addition to knowledge; but reasoning such as that in 'Supernatural Religion' is vitiated at the outset, because it starts with the assumption that we know perfectly well the meaning of a term of which our actual conception is vague and indeterminate in ...
— The Gospels in the Second Century - An Examination of the Critical Part of a Work - Entitled 'Supernatural Religion' • William Sanday

... proprietor of the Newport Art Gallery had sealed up all his vague suspicions in his guilty breast. He never dared to confide even in Robert Wade, sneaking in furtively ...
— The Midnight Passenger • Richard Henry Savage

... systems brings to light an almost unanimous testimony for the existence of a vague primeval monotheism, and thus affords a strong presumptive corroboration of the Scriptural doctrine of man's apostasy from the worship ...
— Oriental Religions and Christianity • Frank F. Ellinwood

... many vague indications in earlier writers, as well as those drawn from ancient Oriental sources, we may note that POMPONATIUS or POMPONAZZO, an Italian, born in 1462, declared in a work entitled De naturalium effectuum admirandorum Causis seu de Incantationibus, that to cure disease it ...
— The Mystic Will • Charles Godfrey Leland

... and were every day complaining of the smallness of the number, he of the Dog-Star replied, that in his globe they had very near one thousand senses, and yet with all these they felt continually a sort of listless inquietude and vague desire which told them how very imperfect they were. But we shall not travel so far as this for our illustrations. We have all seen in the fields and about our houses birds and insects which seem to take cognizance of ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 31, May, 1860 • Various

... expressed himself. He retained but a very slight recollection of all that he had said, but he thought it was quite sufficient to have aroused the ridicule of those around him. Most painful of all sensations, the vague sense of a folly committed, the extent and the consequences of which are alike unknown to us! As he approached his home it seemed to him that he had profaned his affection for Marguerite by mentioning ...
— International Weekly Miscellany, Vol. 1, No. 2, July 8, 1850 • Various

... She felt that there was nothing to be said. The bare idea that there might come a time when her beloved work would fail to fill her life was not to be considered, even for a moment. Love was a vague, far-distant possibility. It might come to her, and again it might not. But her work—that lay directly before her. The glory of life was not love, but achievement. Her eyes grew rapt with purpose, and, as Tom wistfully scanned her changeful face, it fell upon ...
— Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus • Jessie Graham Flower

... boards of the hotel. Rick tried to pierce the gloom, to see his captors, but there wasn't enough light to see more than vague shapes. He had never heard the voices before. The feet came back. The ...
— The Scarlet Lake Mystery • Harold Leland Goodwin

... the choice had been made without actual thought for the route which she was selecting. And yet, conscious or instinctive, the choice had brought her the things for which both brain and spirit were ahunger that morning: A silence so profound that the vague, crackling wood noises which disturbed it from time to time were not noises at all, but only a part of its very being; a solitude so breathlessly big and sweeping that she must needs throw out both slim arms finally in a childishly eager ...
— Then I'll Come Back to You • Larry Evans

... Spiritual Life is not something outside ourselves. The idea is not that Christ is in heaven and that we can stretch out some mysterious faculty and deal with Him there. This is the vague form in which many conceive the truth, but it is contrary to Christ's teaching and to the analogy of nature. Life is definite and resident; and Spiritual Life is not a visit from a force, but a resident tenant in the soul. ...
— Beautiful Thoughts • Henry Drummond

... me to take some additional interest in this question of chess origin, was the perusal of the lines attributed to Pope (quoted by Forbes at the foot of Chapter XII of his book), and the vague and uncertain, and I now think unreasonable date fixed for our own probable first knowledge of the game, though concurred in with tolerable unanimity by so many ancient writers among those regarded as the ...
— Chess History and Reminiscences • H. E. Bird

... and he was improving the opportunity to make love to her. Her reluctant and remorseful yielding was evident in every line of her figure as she allowed the painter to steal his arm around her waist and bend his lips toward hers. Wynne looked at the picture with vague disquiet. Here was the struggle of the natural human impulse against the constraint of ascetic vows; the irresistible yielding to nature and to the call of a passion interwoven with the very fibres of humanity. The sombre Boston ...
— The Puritans • Arlo Bates

... in the previous chapter of the nature of sexual morality, with the brief sketch it involved of the direction in which that morality is moving, has necessarily left many points vague. It may still be asked what definite and precise forms sexual unions are tending to take among us, and what relation these unions bear to the religious, social, and legal traditions we have inherited. These are matters about which a very ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... through several station houses; but he was not aware what importance the testimony which they could give had suddenly acquired. The witnesses had been searched for at the suggestion of Fayette Overtop, with the vague hope of making them useful in ...
— Round the Block • John Bell Bouton

... what share that diminutive flower had in the development of my mind and character. With it, so it seems to me, began the first dawn of a conscious inner life. I can still recollect with wonderful distinctness what I have thought and felt since that date, while all the preceding years are vague and shadowy as an ill-remembered dream. From them I can only conjure up, as it were, my outward form,—a happy animal existence, with which scarce a feeling of self is connected; but from the time when I bore a part in this little fragment of a romance ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 1, Issue 2, December, 1857 • Various

... which was now seated. Two Chinamen were serving coffee and cordials. Mallow was right; beautiful was the word. A vague regret came to him, as it comes to all men outside the pale, that such a woman could never be his. He poured out for himself a stiff peg and drank it with very little soda. Craig always fled, as it were, ...
— Parrot & Co. • Harold MacGrath

... in youth hope never dies. Beyond the gray daily horizon there is always a possible gleam, a new to-morrow; youth abounds in infinite surprises, in probabilities which are as large as they are vague. Grace told herself that she never hoped much from Archie's mission; yet when he came to her with his ill success plainly stamped upon his countenance, the dying out of her dream ...
— Not Like Other Girls • Rosa N. Carey

... be learned of the human soul, and its connection with the Universal Mind," said Anaxagoras: "These sublime truths seem vague and remote, as Phoeacia appeared to Odysseus like a vast shield floating on the surface of ...
— Philothea - A Grecian Romance • Lydia Maria Child

... longer. His eyes were full of tears, which seemed like drops of molten lead. He bade a quick good night to these sincere and simple souls whom he loved so well; who knew neither the world, the flesh, nor the devil in their own hearts, only as something vague and external to themselves. He went to ...
— Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman • Thomas Hardy

... If this should appear vague to the dogmatist who finds it impossible either to love God or to do the will of Christ without going into the arithmetic of Athanasius, and reciting an unintelligible creed, and celebrating in Christian forms the rites of those mystery religions which competed with each ...
— Painted Windows - Studies in Religious Personality • Harold Begbie

... him a vague memory of departing chatter and tramping feet in the background. Howlet shoved out ...
— Fee of the Frontier • Horace Brown Fyfe

... closer. Many were the means shouted out in mouthfuls, of the best possible ways of ending it. "Water!" but there was none near, and many cried for it who might have got it from the well at Blackfriar's Wynd. "Bite the tail!" and a large, vague, benevolent, middle-aged man, more desirous than wise, with some struggle got the bushy end of Yarrow's tail into his ample mouth, and bit it with all his might. This was more than enough for the much- enduring, ...
— Rab and His Friends • John Brown, M. D.

... of Scott's planting: but the master loved the murmur of the Tweed,—loved the nearness of Melrose, and in every old bit of sculpture that he walled into his home he found pictures of far-away scenes that printed in vague shape of tower or abbey all his ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 83, September, 1864 • Various

... connected with the word tumult and you will get a vague idea of the storm which crashed about the girl's defenceless head as she stood with her back to the door of the tiny sitting-room, with a perfectly gorgeous diamond ring sparkling and flashing in front of ...
— Leonie of the Jungle • Joan Conquest

... and Bobsey," I said, "it is time for you to do your part. Just stick these little onions in the trench about four inches apart;" and I gave each of them a little stick of the right length to measure the distance; for they had vague ideas of four inches. "Be sure," I continued, "that you get the bottom of the onion down. This is the top, and this is the bottom. Press the onion in the soil just enough to make it stand firm, so. That's right. Oh, you're learning fast. Now I can rest, you see, while ...
— Driven Back to Eden • E. P. Roe

... for my own peace, to beseech you not to continue a manoeuvre that only tantalizes and wounds me. In your last you put together many friendly words to give me hopes of your return; but can I be' so blind as not to see that they are vague words? Did you mean to return in autumn, Would you not say so? would the most artful arrangement of words be so kind as those few simple ones? In fact, I have for some time seen how little you mean it; and, for your sakes, I cease to desire it. The pleasure you expressed at seeing ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... presence of Sam Atkins everything he was doing seemed right, and a lifetime of doubts, and errors, and fears seemed distant and vague. ...
— The Great Gray Plague • Raymond F. Jones

... things had often happened at the diggings, and there were men prowling about the colony who would care nothing about shedding blood, if they could secure thereby the gains of a successful digger. He said nothing, however, to his companions; for it seemed an absurd thing to trouble them with his vague impressions and misgivings, especially as the man who had thus twice been near him had done nothing more than approach ...
— Frank Oldfield - Lost and Found • T.P. Wilson

... in the British Museum, dated Jan. 18, 1655-6.—I failed to find a book with the title The Sportive Wit in the Thomason Collection, and hence my hypothesis that there was but one book, with alternative titles. I am rather inclined to believe, however, that there were two, and have a vague recollection of having seen two books, one with one of the titles and the other with the other, advertised in a contemporary newspaper list of books on sale by the publisher Brooke. In Lowndes's Bibliog. Manual by Bohn, sub voce ...
— The Life of John Milton, Volume 5 (of 7), 1654-1660 • David Masson

... and continued "Oh, Rancey was not now the man to content himself with a vague, passing prayer, uttered in the whirl of the world's business, which swallows it up, and prevents it from reaching the ear of heaven. No, no; in the depth of solitude, he endeavored to make his prayers even more efficacious, so ardently did he desire the eternal ...
— The Wandering Jew, Complete • Eugene Sue

... and shrinks from any active part in their discussion. Of course there are exceptions by the thousand; but the rule is that she voluntarily abstains from interference in outside topics, whatever be their gravity or their importance. She may have a vague opinion on such matters, picked up from hearing men talk around her, but the bent of her nature leads her in other ways—her tendency is towards things which satisfy her as a woman. It naturally follows that men do not give her what she does ...
— Political Women (Vol. 1 of 2) • Sutherland Menzies

... face toward them they laid their heads languish-ingly askew, as if to remind her that supper could not be more fitly bestowed than on them. One, to steady himself, placed unobserved his fore-paw on the edge of the table, his well-padded toes leaving a vague imprint as of fingers upon the coarse white cloth; but John Dundas was a sportsman, and could the better relax an exacting nicety where so pleasant-featured and affable a beggar was concerned. He forgot the turmoils of his own troubles as he gazed at Millicent, the dreary aspect of the solitudes ...
— The Phantoms Of The Foot-Bridge - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... father's battle-brand. Some swords, especially those which had been magically forged, were held to possess the property of drawing themselves from their scabbard at the approach of their owner's deadly enemy. This is the first vague hint which Scott gives us as to the real identity of the "Knight of Snowdoun." To throw a further glamor of romance about the prophetical weapon, he tells us that it was given by fairies to an ancestor ...
— Lady of the Lake • Sir Walter Scott

... back to where his little mistress lay. But in one moment Mignon was on her feet again, making her graceful courtesy and kissing her hand, though she looked very pale. The curtain fell rapidly. Alice, looking anxiously that way, had a vague idea that she saw Mignon drop down again, but Aunty said, "How fortunate that that sweet little thing was not hurt;" and Alice, being used to finding Aunty always in the right, felt her heart lightened. They went out, following ...
— Nine Little Goslings • Susan Coolidge

... did he keep in mind even the possible position of each corps of his army, he exclaimed, "I bet it is Victor." And in fact it was Marshal Victor, who awaited us with lively impatience. It seemed that the marshal's army had received very vague information of our disasters, and was prepared to receive the Emperor with joy and enthusiasm. His soldiers still fresh and vigorous, at least compared with the rest of the army, could hardly believe the evidence ...
— The Private Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Constant

... meetings! Leaving all the vague, waste, endless spaces of the washing desert, the ocean-steamer and the fishing-smack sail straight towards each other as if they ran in grooves ploughed for them in the waters from the beginning of creation! Not only things and events, but our own thoughts, are so full of these surprises, ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... overpowered by contending and unanalyzed emotions. Touched almost to tears by the affectionate address, thrilled by the hand that pressed his own, and yet with a vague fear, a consciousness that something more than the words themselves was implied,—something that checked all hope. And this word "brother," once so precious and so dear, why did he shrink from it now; why could he not too say ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... point is carried so far that a teacher is judged from the way he has or has not of getting at the children under him as individuals. All this is a move in the right direction; and yet the subject is still so vague that many of the very critics who declaim against the similar treatment which diverse pupils get at school have no clear idea of what is needed; they merely make demands that the treatment shall suit the child. How each child is to be suited, and the ...
— The Story of the Mind • James Mark Baldwin

... arm-rest over which hung the body of the dead engineer. And this was his boy. How the years fly! He looked at the boy, and the boy was looking at him with his big, sad eyes. The furnace door was ajar, and the cab was as light as day. Guerin had always felt that in some vague way he was responsible for Cowels's death, and now the boy's gaze made him uncomfortable. Already the snow had banked against the windows on his side and closed them. He crossed over to the fireman's side, and looked ahead. The headlight ...
— Snow on the Headlight - A Story of the Great Burlington Strike • Cy Warman

... that the characters given tell nothing about a servant's qualities and knowledge; while the vague complaint that Anna Schmidt's behaviour no longer suited her mistress might mean anything or nothing. In this case it meant that a son of the house had annoyed the girl with his attentions, and she had in consequence treated ...
— Home Life in Germany • Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick

... flung away from him with a groan; even in his misery he understood that appeal to his generosity. But he put it from him: he was too much stunned, too dazed altogether, to follow out any train of reasoning. In a vague sort of way he understood two facts: that he and Kester and Mollie were disgraced, and that his mother—the mother whom he adored—had deceived him. Beyond this he could not go. The human mind ...
— Lover or Friend • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... right over the spectator's head, swinging their tatters so nearly in his face that his impulse was to shrink when they came closet. In the one place I speak of, one could look below him upon a world of diminishing crags and canyons leading down, down, and away to a vague plain with a thread in it which was a road, and bunches of feathers in it which were trees,—a pretty picture sleeping in the sunlight—but with a darkness stealing over it and glooming its features deeper and deeper under the frown of a coming storm; and then, while no film or shadow marred ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... life lay ahead, its outline vague and undefined like that of the landscape around, but the sun was shining. It shone full on their young faces, as they ...
— A College Girl • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... something so suggestive and dreadful in the expression of her face as she said this, that the stout heart of the old bonde, pulsated more quickly with a sudden vague distrust and dread. She gave him no time to speak, but laying one yellow, claw-like hand on his arm, and raising her voice to a ...
— Thelma • Marie Corelli

... the resources of his father. It was with difficulty that he even brought himself to draw for the allowance which Sir Ratcliffe insisted on making him; and he would gladly have saved his father from making even this advance, by vague intimations of the bounty of Lord Grandison, had he not feared this conduct might have led to suspicious and disagreeable enquiries. It cannot be denied that his debts occasionally caused him anxiety, ...
— Henrietta Temple - A Love Story • Benjamin Disraeli

... responsive throb, not even a vague echo. Mr. Knox knew that he possessed not the merest shred of the leadership necessary ...
— The Mirrors of Washington • Anonymous

... voices; and faces sweet Were thronging the shadowy side of the street As far as the eye could see; Dreaming again, in anticipation, The same old dreams of our boyhood's days That never come true, from the vague sensation Of walking asleep ...
— The Complete Works • James Whitcomb Riley

... activity, but even apart from the affairs of that enterprise, Wenna Rosewarne seemed to be everywhere throughout the village, to know everything, to be doing everything that prudent help and friendly counsel could do. Mrs. Trelyon grew to love the girl in her vague, wondering, simple fashion. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 90, June, 1875 • Various

... the water of the oasis mirage is to the lost dying of thirst in the desert. The outcries of the wretched and miserable, the gray-and-dreary lived din an unmanageable tinnitus in our ears. Like God, it may be but a large, vague idea toward which we grope to snuggle up against. It seems implicit in the doctrines of evolution. But how do we know that in man the spiral of life has not reached its apex, and that now, even now, the ...
— The Glands Regulating Personality • Louis Berman, M.D.

... any of them; but they were known to be, for the most part, outlawed ruffians capable of any crime, and they were suspected and examined accordingly. It was not till afterward that I heard by accident of the suspicion shifting round at last to me. The widow alone recognized the vague description given of the strange man who had made one of the yacht's crew, and who had disappeared the day afterward. The widow alone knew, from that time forth, why her husband had been murdered, and who had done the ...
— Armadale • Wilkie Collins

... all the rest of the earth—penitus toto orbe divisa—ever since the end of the secondary period, remained as yet, so to speak, in the secondary age so far as its larger life-elements were concerned, and presented to the first comers a certain vague and indefinite picture of what 'the world before the flood' must have looked like. Only it was a very remote flood; an antediluvian age separated from our own not by thousands, but by ...
— Falling in Love - With Other Essays on More Exact Branches of Science • Grant Allen

... of the Idylls of the King is designedly vague. The region of Lyonnesse was supposed to be adjacent to Cornwall, and the sea now covers it. The Scilly Islands are held to have been the western limit of ...
— Selections from Wordsworth and Tennyson • William Wordsworth and Alfred Lord Tennyson

... a wistful sadness in the fall of evening, a vague regret for the fading glories of the day which, passing out of our lives for ever, leaves us so much the richer or poorer, the nobler or more unworthy, according to the use we have made of the opportunities it has offered us for the doing ...
— Peregrine's Progress • Jeffery Farnol

... Edith's voice when she again spoke, it might be from mere excitement or anger. At any rate Gus grew more and more uncomfortable. He had a vague feeling that Edith suspected his falseness, and that her seeming calmness might presage a storm, and he found it impossible to meet her full searching gaze, fearing that his face would betray him. He was bad enough for his project, ...
— What Can She Do? • Edward Payson Roe

... he closed his mind on what would happen. There was a vague fear that when he faced McGurk he would be frozen with fear; that his spirit would be broken and he would become a thing too despicable for a ...
— Riders of the Silences • Max Brand

... preceding pages occurred. A new generation has come and grown into middle life, while the second generation is now budding forth into manhood and womanhood. How many of these are conversant with the history of their own country? Beyond a very vague knowledge of what has been taught to them in a superficial manner in our schools and colleges, and the fragmentary reminiscences that may have been recounted to them by their sires and grandsires who passed through these troublous times, it is doubtful whether even ...
— Troublous Times in Canada - A History of the Fenian Raids of 1866 and 1870 • John A. Macdonald

... the floor. "I tell you, Champagny, I will and must succeed! No objections! I told you that I have made up my mind, and nothing can shake my determination. You will commence by encouraging Romanzoff in his hopes, and throw out only, now and then, a vague hint that there are countries, the annexation of which would be more important and advantageous to Russia. After having prepared his mind in this manner for our plan, you will gradually, and as soon as I have gained over the emperor, point out to him the conquest which Russia ought previously ...
— Napoleon and the Queen of Prussia • L. Muhlbach

... was sent for to the principal's room. The moment I entered, he said, 'You won't suit us, young man, I find. You had better pack up your box to-night, and be off to-morrow. There's your quarter's salary.' 'What have I done?' I asked in astonishment, and yet with a vague suspicion of the matter. 'It's not what you've done, but what you don't do,' he answered. 'Do you think we can afford to keep you here and pay you wages to send people away from the shop without buying? If you do, you're mistaken, that's all. You may go.' 'But what could I do?' I ...
— Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood • George MacDonald

... boudoir she must be reclining in the dark there. He ascertained that she was not in the boudoir. Then he visited both the drawing-room and the dining-room. No Marian anywhere! He stood a moment in the hall and was in a mind to ring for Machin—he could see from a vague illumination at the entrance to the basement steps that the kitchen was still inhabited—but just then all the servants came upwards on the way to the attics, and at the strange spectacle of their dancing master in the hall they all grew constrained ...
— Mr. Prohack • E. Arnold Bennett

... red sun rise while he was on guard at the mouth of the Tube. The tree-ferns above him came into view as vague gray outlines. The many-colored stars grew pale. And presently a bit of crimson light peeped through the jungle somewhere. It moved along the horizon and very slowly grew higher. For a moment, Tommy saw ...
— The Fifth-Dimension Tube • William Fitzgerald Jenkins

... of God if they had all attempted to gouge out each other's eyes with carving knives. But they were "good people". After my interview with Leonora I went desultorily into Edward's gun-room. I didn't know where the girl was and I thought I mind find her there. I suppose I had a vague idea of proposing to her in spite of Leonora. So, I presume, I don't come of quite such good people as the Ashburnhams. Edward was lounging in his chair smoking a cigar and he said nothing for quite five minutes. The candles glowed in the green shades; the ...
— The Good Soldier • Ford Madox Ford

... 'I discern a vague sort of consistency in this. You regard the Church formulas as merely symbolical—useful for the ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... retired naval officer named Foraker, who was supposed to be in command. As a matter of fact, there was a Captain Foraker aboard the schooner who navigated her and instilled the "run and jump" discipline that had so excited Code's admiration. Outside of this vague ...
— The Harbor of Doubt • Frank Williams

... just alluded to is characteristic only of the second and third chapters. Ch. i., however, is confessedly vague, and moves for the most part along the familiar lines of theophanic descriptions. It is not plain in i. (cf. ii. 8) who are the enemies to be destroyed, as i. 1 is probably a later addition. Further, as far as v. 10 the prophecy is alphabetic: this circumstance has given rise to the view that ...
— Introduction to the Old Testament • John Edgar McFadyen

... referred exclusively to the fears of Cain, for Cain had sisters, and perhaps he greatly dreaded that sister whom he had married, lest she should take vengeance on him for the murder of her brother. Moreover, Cain had perhaps a vague apprehension of a long life, and he saw that many more sons might be born of Adam. He feared, therefore, the whole posterity to Adam. And it greatly increased these fears that God had left him nothing more than his stray mercy. I do not think that Cain ...
— Commentary on Genesis, Vol. II - Luther on Sin and the Flood • Martin Luther

... proposition in the individual instance flows from it by way of deductive inference. Take away the universal, and we have no logical warrant for arguing from one individual case to another. We do so, as was said before, only in virtue of that vague instinct which leads us to anticipate like ...
— Deductive Logic • St. George Stock

... but Sunday never had been painted anything. Though a buffer- day between a vanished week and a week of labour coming, it was of uncertain character. Queer, grave people came back to lunch. There were collects and a vague uneasiness about the heathen being unfed and naked. There was a collection, too—pennies emerged from stained leather purses and dropped clicking into a polished box with a slit in the top. Greenland's icy mountains also helped to put a chill ...
— The Extra Day • Algernon Blackwood

... have but one object in life, which was to hatch up a clever scheme whereby the educated monkey could be trapped. He wandered around in the near vicinity of the camp, with his eyes constantly searching the branches of the trees in the vague hope that he might discover the runaway snugly squatted in some ...
— Chums of the Camp Fire • Lawrence J. Leslie

... judicial murder. Had Carmagnuola been convicted of treason? Was he being punished for his ill success in the campaign of the preceding years? The Republic of Venice, by the secrecy in which she enveloped this dark act of vengeance, sought to inspire the whole body of her officials with vague alarm. ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volume 1 (of 7) • John Addington Symonds

... at his mother with surprise, and some vague sense of pain. She could make up her mind to part with him—she had thought of the possibility, and with complacence. He muttered something about having something to do, and left her, strangely moved, while she calmly worked in ...
— Run to Earth - A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... happy," Clarissa answered, with a faint sigh, thinking perhaps that, bright as her life might be, it was not quite the fulfilment of her vague girlish dreams—not quite the life she had fancied lying before her when the future was all unknown; "I ought to be very happy and very grateful to Providence; and, O Austin, my boy is the sweetest ...
— The Lovels of Arden • M. E. Braddon

... reckon, with fool idees 'bout what yer women-folks ought to wear, like them furriners down below." Her face relaxed into a genial smile, which brought a dimple to shadow the pink bloom of her cheek. But there was a trace of pensiveness; the vague hint of jealousy in ...
— Heart of the Blue Ridge • Waldron Baily

... and your nose folded into your paws across your breast; and you want to stretch your hind-legs dreadfully. But you do not do it. It is still too comfortable where you are. You may move a little, and have a vague idea that it might be rather nice outside. But you do not go to see; you only take the other paw into your mouth, and, still crooning to yourself, ...
— Bear Brownie - The Life of a Bear • H. P. Robinson

... down at the piano, with a vague notion of playing the sonata in E minor, Grieg's, of course, which had been her favourite, and was the best and finest, in his opinion, after Beethoven's sonata in D minor; not because E comes after D, ...
— In Midsummer Days and Other Tales • August Strindberg

... the use of showy colours, and garments fantastically and extraordinarily fashioned. But poor Geoffrey Hudson's laces, embroideries, and the rest of his finery, were sorely worn and tarnished by the time which he had spent in jail, under the vague and malicious accusation that he was somehow or other an accomplice in this all-involving, all-devouring whirlpool of a Popish conspiracy—an impeachment which, if pronounced by a mouth the foulest and most malicious, ...
— Peveril of the Peak • Sir Walter Scott

... were now so eager to save, had but a few minutes before been most unwarrantably firing away at them. Jack too had a strange feeling that he knew the appearance of the young officer who had interposed in their favour, but still it was too vague to allow him to ground any strong hopes on it. Murray had, however, conceived the same idea. With what eagerness they pulled about looking out for their struggling fellow-creatures! First they hauled on board a stout Turk, who did not appear to be much the worse for his flight and ducking, ...
— The Three Midshipmen • W.H.G. Kingston

... she had ascribed his behaviour of the previous day, his first, false version, his reticence and his confusion to scruples of conscience and vague apprehensions. Anxious about the consequences of the business and dreading lest his testimony might complicate it, he had tried to avoid the annoyance of ...
— The Frontier • Maurice LeBlanc

... England, it would be truer to say that feudalism was introduced from England into Normandy, and thence spread throughout France. These speculations serve, at any rate, to show that feudalism was a very vague and elusive system, consisting of generalizations from a vast number of conflicting data. Spelman was the first to attempt to reduce these data to a system, and his successors tended to forget more and more the exceptions to his rules. It is now clear that much that we call feudal existed in England ...
— The History of England - A Study in Political Evolution • A. F. Pollard

... of his pigs that it grieved him sorely to have one killed. Much domestic diplomacy had to be used before the fatal order could be wrung from him. He would have gone on fattening the beast for ever had he been allowed, soothing his conscience over the waste with the vague hope that this pig of exceptional loveliness and vigour would grow to the size of a donkey if it were permitted to take its time. He never worried his metayer over money matters, or insisted upon seeing that everything was equally divided. Notwithstanding, ...
— Wanderings by southern waters, eastern Aquitaine • Edward Harrison Barker

... A vague thrill ran through me as I listened to my companion's words and saw the stern gravity which had hardened his features. This brutal preliminary seemed to shadow forth some strange and inexplicable horror in the background. Lestrade, however, shook ...
— The Adventure of the Cardboard Box • Arthur Conan Doyle

... air full of vague rumors of yellow fever, and the consequent panic; with the quarantine and general confusion in the running of trains, and the withdrawal of many of them, the outlook last September for the eighteenth year of our school was not the brightest. ...
— The American Missionary - Volume 52, No. 3, September, 1898 • Various

... he echoed in hushed wonderment as her anguished soul looked out at him through her wide eyes and he sensed the first vague foreshadowing of the truth. "You have something ...
— Out of the Depths - A Romance of Reclamation • Robert Ames Bennet

... but when the first breath of warm air set the melted snow streaming down the roofs, which again the night's frost transformed into long stalactites of ice, Mavra felt a strange, vague aching in her heart. The house was overheated, and the close, nauseous air made her sick. What would she not give to run as of old over the moors, to see if the moss were beginning to appear under the crystallized, transparent carpet ...
— The Little Russian Servant • Henri Greville

... soon find out on what terms it had been left to him. Suppose I were able to say this positively to any single man in this audience, and he knew that I did not speak without warrant, do you think that he would rest content with that vague knowledge, if it were anywise possible to obtain more? Would he not give every energy to find some trace of the facts, and never rest till he had ascertained where this place was, and what it was like? And suppose he were a young man, and all he ...
— Sesame and Lilies • John Ruskin

... filled with vague and highly colored notions of a smugglers' cave, his narrow lungs filled with air, Bubbles dove, swam between two slimy barnacled piles, and came up presently in a dark, dank, stale, gurgling region, wonderfully cool after the blazing sunlight ...
— The Penalty • Gouverneur Morris

... lane, and the lane entered a region where there were vague fields on either side, fields in which things had been planted. And then he stopped suddenly, not knowing whether he should continue on his way, or return to his companions by the side of the road. He had discerned a house before him, standing ...
— Everychild - A Story Which The Old May Interpret to the Young and Which the Young May Interpret to the Old • Louis Dodge

... to the operation of the insurrection act. Early in this session another committee was appointed to inquire into the state of Ireland generally. The result of the labours of the committee was a brief and vague report, but accompanied by a mass of evidence, which threw great light upon the condition of the general body of the Irish people. It showed that they lived in the most degraded state; that they were without property; and that their existence was sustained by an insufficient quantity ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... setting up quadrupeds in a natural and life-like manner is of so recent a date that few, if any, of the manuals on taxidermy do more than glance at it. True, they nearly all give directions, in an off-hand way, as to the skinning of mammals; but their instructions are so vague and meagre that, though confessing that the subject is no easy one to write upon, I yet feel that we may, perhaps, improve, in point of detail, ...
— Practical Taxidermy • Montagu Browne

... the vague names of cataracts, cascades, falls, and rapids,* (* The corresponding terms in use among the people of South America, are saltos, chorros, pongos, cachoeiras, and raudales.) denoting those tumultuous movements of water which arise from very different circumstances, are generally confounded with ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V2 • Alexander von Humboldt

... It is possible that there is a vague and obscure reference here to the doctrine that the fruits of our deeds are ...
— A History of Indian Philosophy, Vol. 1 • Surendranath Dasgupta

... his joy. Bedient suddenly leaned forward and regarded him intently through the vague light. "David," he said, "you're looking fit and happy, and I'm very glad to see you." This was a way of Bedient's at unexpected moments.... "Do you know, it's a marvellous life you live," he went on, "looking inward ...
— Fate Knocks at the Door - A Novel • Will Levington Comfort

... hurry to make money by making baronets, perhaps made some of those remunerative dignitaries. A house, centuries old, deserted and falling to pieces, its woods and gardens long since grass-land or ploughed up, the Rivers Ribble and Darwen glancing below it, and a vague haze of smoke, against which not even the supernatural prescience of the first Stuart could foresee a counter-blast, hinting at steam-power, powerful ...
— George Silverman's Explanation • Charles Dickens

... the gray sports-suit she was now wearing. Ted—Theodore Roosevelt Babbitt—a decorative boy of seventeen. Tinka—Katherine—still a baby at ten, with radiant red hair and a thin skin which hinted of too much candy and too many ice cream sodas. Babbitt did not show his vague irritation as he tramped in. He really disliked being a family tyrant, and his nagging was as meaningless as it was frequent. He shouted at Tinka, "Well, kittiedoolie!" It was the only pet name in his vocabulary, except the "dear" and "hon." with which he recognized his wife, and he ...
— Babbitt • Sinclair Lewis

... Fox, Welton's office partner, left home directly after Thanksgiving. He had heard much of Welton & Fox in the past, both from his father and his father's associates. The firm name meant to him big things in the past history of Michigan's industries, and big things in the vague, large life of the Northwest. Therefore, he was considerably surprised, on finding the firm's Adams Street offices, ...
— The Rules of the Game • Stewart Edward White



Words linked to "Vague" :   unclear, undefinable, shadowy, Nouvelle Vague, indistinct, indefinable, indefinite, defined, wispy



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