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nebulous +‎ -ly



nebulously (comparative more nebulously, superlative most nebulously)

  1. In a manner like that of a cloud or haze.
    The vapour drifted nebulously into the hall.
  2. As if viewed through a cloud or haze.
  3. Vaguely, without clear purpose or specific intention.
    He waved his hand nebulously in the direction he intended to go.
    • 1934, Agatha Christie, chapter 3, in Murder on the Orient Express, London: HarperCollins, published 2017, page 218:
      'I see, nebulously as yet, a certain explanation that would cover the facts as we know them.'


  • 1866 - Herman Melville, Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War
    The bladed guns are gleaming—
        Drift in lengthened trim,
    Files on files for hazy miles—
        Nebulously dim.
  • 1905 - Jack London, The Game, chapter IV
    And there he stood, all but naked, godlike, in a white blaze of light. She had never conceived of the form of God except as nebulously naked, and the thought-association was startling.
  • 1920 - Sinclair Lewis, Main Street, chapter XVI, section 2
    Mysteriously aching, nebulously sad, she slipped away, half-convinced but only half-convinced that it was horrible and unnatural, this postponement of release of mother-affection, this sacrifice to her opinionation and to his cautious desire for prosperity.
  • 1928 - H. P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu
    For an instant the ship was befouled by an acrid and blinding green cloud, and then there was only a venomous seething astern; where - God in heaven! - the scattered plasticity of that nameless sky-spawn was nebulously recombining in its hateful original form, whilst its distance widened every second as the Alert gained impetus from its mounting steam.
  • 1931 - H. P. Lovecraft, The Whisperer in Darkness, chapter 6
    Archaic covered bridges lingered fearsomely out of the past in pockets of the hills, and the half-abandoned railway track paralleling the river seemed to exhale a nebulously visible air of desolation.

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