Definition of nebulous in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnɛbjʊləs/


1In the form of a cloud or haze; hazy: a giant nebulous glow
More example sentences
  • Where others in this vein opt for a hazy, nebulous cloud of half-remembered dreams, Manitoba's music is direct and unassuming while still remaining evocative.
  • Smudges like this are called nebulae, because they look nebulous - like hazy clouds.
  • A thick, nebulous haze, caused by the manufacturing process, pervaded everywhere, revealing sparks and the blindingly bright radiance of welding from time to time.
indistinct, indefinite, unclear, vague, hazy, cloudy, fuzzy, misty, lacking definition, blurred, blurry, out of focus, foggy, faint, shadowy, dim, obscure, shapeless, formless, unformed, amorphous
rare nebulose
1.1 another term for nebular.
Example sentences
  • Shapley noted that nebulous objects tended to be everywhere except in the Milky Way plane.
  • Twenty five years ago, the nebulous gas entombing the dying star at the centre was not hot enough to glow.
  • The Pleiades is a nebulous cluster of stars, all contained within one degree of longitude, located on the shoulder of the Bull.
2(Of a concept) vague or ill-defined: nebulous concepts like quality of life
More example sentences
  • Most irritating of all, I'm finding that my brain is absolutely unable to cope with vague, nebulous concepts or ideas.
  • Ultimately, it's not politics that makes the world go round but generosity, but for a lot of people that's a very nebulous concept.
  • Yet dark energy is a nebulous concept, one that has thus far flummoxed some of the smartest researchers on the planet.
vague, ill-defined, unclear, hazy, uncertain, indefinite, indeterminate, imprecise, unformed, muddled, confused, ambiguous, inchoate, opaque, muddy



Pronunciation: /nɛbjʊˈlɒsɪti/
Example sentences
  • For the outsider, the objects maintain a ‘deliberate vagueness, nebulosity, and ambiguity’ that help preserve their power within Bwami.
  • Indeed, within the Tarantula complex many such dark and dusty clouds are seen in silhouette as they obscure bright nebulosity behind them.
  • If you want to see the nebulosity (which is actually dust) surrounding the stars in the cluster, though, you'll need at least a 12-inch telescope.


Pronunciation: /ˈnɛbjʊləsli/
Example sentences
  • But the success of the nebulously termed ‘world music’ as a commercially viable product, is contingent on a highly exoticised and partial notion of a vinyl atlas.
  • Campaigning in support of the treaty was therefore low key, with an occasional poster nebulously promising ‘a brighter Europe’.
  • The English regions are, by comparison, ahistorical, nebulously conceived, arbitrarily imposed.


Pronunciation: /ˈnɛbjʊləsnəs/
Example sentences
  • It says a lot about the reach and nebulousness of those powers that the Commissioner himself may have come close to breaching their disclosure provisions.
  • Anyway - the luxury goods arena is special case and it is beautiful in its nebulousness.
  • Such nebulousness is perfect for a film about cultural confusion, the inability or refusal to see from others’ viewpoints.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'cloudy'): from French nébuleux or Latin nebulosus, from nebula 'mist'. sense 2 dates from the early 19th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: nebu|lous

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