Something that’s nebulous is clouded or hazy. When you walk through the woods on a foggy morning, the trees may all have a mysterious, nebulous look to them.

When you fly in a plane on an overcast day, the land below you looks nebulous and indistinct. You can also use nebulous in a more figurative way, to describe vague ideas or fuzzy concepts. Nebulous comes from the Latin nebulosus, “cloudy, misty, or foggy.” Its root is nebula, which is “vapor or fog” in Latin and was adopted by astronomers in the 1700s to mean “a cloud of gas and dust in outer space.”

Definitions of nebulous
  1. adjective

    lacking definite form or limits

    nebulous distinction between pride and conceit”
    cloudy, nebulose


    not clearly defined or easy to perceive or understand
  2. adjective

    lacking definition or definite content

    nebulous reasons”


    vague or not clearly defined or stated
  3. adjective

    of or relating to or resembling a nebula


Word Family