Distinct vs Vague - What's the difference?

distinct | vague |

As an adjective distinct

is capable of being perceived very clearly.

As a verb vague is


Other Comparisons: What's the difference?




(en adjective)
  • Capable of being perceived very clearly.
  • * {{quote-magazine, year=2013, month=July-August, author= Fenella Saunders
  • , title= Tiny Lenses See the Big Picture, magazine=(American Scientist) , passage=The single-imaging optic of the mammalian eye offers some distinct visual advantages. Such lenses can take in photons from a wide range of angles, increasing light sensitivity. They also have high spatial resolution, resolving incoming images in minute detail.}}
  • Different from one another (with the preferable adposition being "from").
  • * {{quote-book, year=1928, author=Lawrence R. Bourne, title=Well Tackled!
  • , chapter=13 citation , passage=“Yes, there are two distinct sets of footprints, both wearing rubber shoes—one I think ordinary plimsolls, the other goloshes,” replied the sergeant.}}
  • Noticeably different from others; distinctive.
  • Separate in place; not conjunct or united; with from .
  • * Clarendon
  • The intention was that the two armies which marched out together should afterward be distinct .
  • (obsolete) Distinguished; having the difference marked; separated by a visible sign; marked out; specified.
  • * Milton
  • Wherever thus created — for no place / Is yet distinct by name.
  • (obsolete) Marked; variegated.
  • * Spenser
  • The which [place] was dight / With divers flowers distinct with rare delight.


    * prominent * separate * several (in dated sense)


    * indistinct * (capable of being perceived very clearly) confusing * (different from one another) same




  • Not clearly expressed; stated in indefinite terms.
  • *
  • *2004: , Character: Profiles in Presidential Courage
  • *:Throughout the first week of his presidency, Dulles and Bissell continued to brief Kennedy on their strategy for Cuba, but the men were vague and their meetings offered little in the way of hard facts.
  • Not having a precise meaning.
  • :
  • Not clearly defined, grasped, or understood; indistinct; slight.
  • :
  • Not clearly felt or sensed; somewhat subconscious.
  • :
  • Not thinking or expressing one’s thoughts clearly or precisely.
  • Lacking expression; vacant.
  • Not sharply outlined; hazy.
  • *{{quote-book, year=1922, author=(Michael Arlen), title= “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days, chapter=Ep./1/2
  • , passage=He walked. To the corner of Hamilton Place and Picadilly, and there stayed for a while, for it is a romantic station by night. The vague and careless rain looked like threads of gossamer silver passing across the light of the arc-lamps.}}
  • Wandering; vagrant; vagabond.
  • *Sir (c.1564-1627)
  • *:to set upon the vague villains
  • *(John Keats) (1795-1821)
  • *:She danced along with vague , regardless eyes.
  • Synonyms

    * obscure * ambiguous


    (en noun)
  • (obsolete) A wandering; a vagary.
  • (Holinshed)
  • An indefinite expanse.
  • * Lowell
  • The gray vague of unsympathizing sea.


  • To wander; to roam; to stray.
  • * Holland
  • [The soul] doth vague and wander.