Phrases with "vague"

Gustave Flauber A vague clamour reached his ears. Salammbo by Gustave Flauber

A vague presentiment of approaching misfortune weighed heavily upon their hearts. The Honor of the Name by Émile Gaboriau

Guy de Maupassant A vague odor of apples floated through the farm-yard, for it was the season when the earliest apples were gathered, the “soon ripe” ones, as they are called in the language of the peasantry. Old Amable (Père Amable) by Guy de Maupassant [1886]

Jules Verne Une vague monstrueuse, haute de quarante pieds, déferla sur les fugitifs avec un bruit épouvantable. Les Enfants du Capitaine Grant by Jules Verne [1867-68]

Arthur Machen From her husband’s voice she had been led to fear something more tangibly unpleasant than a vague catena of prophecies. A Fragment of Life by Arthur Machen

Bronislaw Malinowski But even the other aspects of the problem—authority and treatment—although they are but a sum of facts, are always given in the form of vague general assertions and in that of qualified judgments. The Family among the Australian Aborigines by Bronislaw Malinowski [1913]

Edith Wharton They had not met for some days, and Nick had a vague feeling that if the Prince’s matrimonial designs took definite shape he himself was not likely, after all, to be their chosen exponent. The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton [1922]

H. G. Wells She ran towards him, her mind full of questions and vague fear. The Food of the Gods and how it came to Earth by H. G. Wells [1904]

Elizabeth Barrett Browning They lean together! I would gaze on them Longer and longer, till my watching eyes, As the stars do in watching anything, Should light them forward from their outline vague To clear configuration. A Drama of Exile by Elizabeth Barrett Browning [1844]

Edgar Allan Poe They tell also of a vague horror at my heart, on account of that heart’s unnatural stillness. The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe

By the time he was ready for the University he wanted above all things to run the mile a second faster than any one else, and had vague hopes of exploring wild countries. Basilissa by John Buchan [1914]

La Mole sprang back, filled with a vague terror. Marguerite de Valois by Alexandre Dumas

He had perhaps a vague feeling that he was giving up a good deal in sacrificing his liberty; but on the whole the sacrifice was a wise one, and could not be consummated too quickly. The Lovels of Arden by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1871]

D. H. Lawrence He became very red, vermilion, under the slow, vague stare from behind the spectacles. The Fox by D. H. Lawrence

Oscar Wilde To the æsthetic temperament the vague is always repellent. Intentions by Oscar Wilde [1891]

Henry James They were founded upon a vague project she had of some day doing something very positive, something a trifle passionate. The American by Henry James [1877]

Thomas Hardy She soon found that her ideas as to direction were vague — that she had indeed no ideas as to direction at all. The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy

The independence of the writer and the artist is eaten away by vague economic forces, and at the same time it is undermined by those who should be its defenders. Collected Essays by George Orwell

H. G. Wells From a vague aspiration the Modern World-State became a definite and so a realizable plan. The Shape of Things to Come by H. G. Wells [1933]

But no Frederick appeared, and with vague misgivings, for which as yet he had no name, he left the window and set out on foot for home. Agatha Webb by Anna Katharine Green

Crossing the unshaded turf it was a vague largeness, wallowing clumsily upward. Citadel of Fear by Francis Stevens

Henry James It seemed to me intolerably long; I was thinking so of vague Porterfield and of my prospect of having to face him on the morrow. The Patagonia by Henry James [1888]

Wilkie Collins A vague fear seized her that Anne’s mind had given way under the heavy weight of trouble laid on it. Man and Wife by Wilkie Collins [1870]

Henry James He and his wife spoke sometimes, but seldom talked, and there was something vague and patient in them, as if they had become victims of a wrought spell. Pandora by Henry James [1884]

So thought the cunning artist; and smiling he sought to shape, with his subtle razor-blade, the crude vague blocks of passion and fact. Elizabeth and Essex by Lytton Strachey [1928]

Guy de Maupassan She loved to be alone, to give herself up in the sunlight to all kinds of vague and calm enjoyment which did not necessitate thinking. The History of a Heart by Guy de Maupassan

William Hope Hodgson I had a vague idea that something was different. The Ghost Pirates by William Hope Hodgson

Guy de Maupassan She felt all that with a vague sensation of disillusion and melancholy. Une Vie (A Woman’s Life) by Guy de Maupassan

Guy de Maupassant A cloud of violet powder, a vague white mist, seemed still to be floating in the air, from the effects of her over-powdering her face and neck. The Rondoli Sisters by Guy de Maupassant [1884]

He had heard only a vague report that Flory was hurt, and had bicycled up the hill at top speed through a storm of rain. Burmese Days by George Orwell

H.P. Lovecraft We had a vague hope, however, that nonaggressive conduct and a display of kindred reason might cause such a being to spare us in case of capture, if only from scientific curiosity. At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft [1931]

William Hope Hodgson And I saw now that there were, in truth, matters that did show vague upon that part of the plain that was before me. The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson

Anthony Trollope He had a high, but at the same time a vague ambition. The Bertrams by Anthony Trollope [1859]

He had a vague fear that he was too happy — too much bound up heart and soul in the dark-eyed woman by his side. Aurora Floyd by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1863]

Henry James He exhaled a long sigh that was burdened with many things; then as he moved away his eyes attached themselves as if in sympathy with a vague impulse to the door of the library. The Other House by Henry James [1896]

Ford Madox Ford He would have left a will, but there was the vague case of Christopher to be considered. Some Do Not . . . by Ford Madox Ford [1924]

Theodore Dreiser Sorrow there was, it is true, but only a mellow phase of it, a vague uncertainty and wonder, which would sometimes cause her eyes to fill with tears. Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser

E. Phillips Oppenheim A glance at the headlines and a few of the spiciest paragraphs, a vague look at the leading article, and the sheets were thrown away to make room for more interesting literature. Peter Ruff and the Double Four by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1912]

Arthur Conan Doyle Suspicion, vague and nebulous, was now beginning to take outline in my mind. The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle [1927]

John Galsworthy It held a cottage piano and little else save a vague fragrance and good taste. Indian Summer of a Forsyte by John Galsworthy

Edging to the brink of the chair, he drew in his breath, with a vague awe of Mary’s beauty, almost ludicrous to see, and asked if she had properly considered what she had just said. The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green

Charles Dickens He was inclined to think it a vision of his own brain, when suddenly a vague suspicion of the truth flashed upon his mind. Master Humphrey’s Clock by Charles Dickens [1840]

Arthur Conan Doyle All manner of vague fears and fancies filled her mind. The Firm of Girdlestone by Arthur Conan Doyle [1890]

Henry James But he was aware of a vague ferment of feeling which her evasion of his question half an hour before had done more to deepen than to allay. Madame de Mauves by Henry James [1874]

George Eliot Arthur turned his eyes on Adam with a vague stare which gave way to a slightly startled motion as if from the shock of returning memory. Adam Bede by George Eliot [1859]

But he was not easy to classify, and before the end of the week I gave him up with the vague definition, “an imposing old ruffian. The Partner by Joseph Conrad [1915]

Olaf Stapledon He had a vague yearning for something different from the triumphs of a successful business man. A Man Divided by Olaf Stapledon

Il m’inspirait plutôt à moi une vague pitié. Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier [1913]

His small sqaure casement was open; clematis flowers hung about it; the vast plain was a vague silvery sea, full of all the beautiful mysteries of night. Signa by Ouida

Horses, you see, belong to the vanished agricultural past, and all sentiment for the past carries with it a vague smell of heresy. The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell [1937]

George Gissing A vague alarm began to tremble in her mind. Our Friend the Charlatan by George Gissing [1899]

Arthur Machen You mean, then, there is a general nervousness about, a vague sort of apprehension that makes people inclined to herd together?” “There’s that, and there’s more. The Terror by Arthur Machen

Whence had he come? He had been in the house for four years and yet both Francis and Jennifer were exceedingly vague about him. Judith Paris by Hugh Walpole [1931]

F. Scott Fitzgerald One night while the heat, overpowering and enervating, poured into the windows of his room he struggled for several hours in a vague effort to immortalize the poignancy of that time. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

George Gissing Whilst Emily spoke, he was for the moment overcome by a vision of vague glories; reflecting on her words, he interpreted them as merely emphasising her determination to wed one only. A Life's Morning by George Gissing [1885]

Edith Wharton It was certainly strange that she should have taken this step without letting Gerty Farish know of her decision; and Selden waited with a vague sense of uneasiness while the address was sought for. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton [1905]

Henry James It seemed an illicit way of arriving at information, and even had a vague analogy with listening at a key-hole. The American by Henry James [1877]

Edgar Allan Poe She had just awakened from an unquiet slumber, and I had been watching, with feelings half of anxiety, half of vague terror, the workings of her emaciated countenance. Ligeia by Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe A vague feeling of terror and despair had taken entire possession of his faculties. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe

Kilsip suspected Roger Moreland, the boon companion of the dead man, but his suspicions were vague and uncertain, and there seemed little hope of verifying them. The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume

Andrew Lang In the same way we know how people recognise faces in the most blurred and vague of spiritist photographs, or see family resemblances in the most rudimentary doughfaced babies. The Making of Religion by Andrew Lang

He was greatly struck with this coincidence, indulging himself in a vague dream, in which he established a connection between the king’s return to France and his own private fortunes. L’Assommoir by Émile Zola

Jack London He had a vague feeling of impending doom. The Call of the Wild by Jack London [1903]

Olaf Stapledon The Milky Way, a vague hoop of light, spanned the sky. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

My father meant me for the navy and I have some vague notions about navigation. Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas [1845]

George Gissing Henceforth the scope of his efforts would be lessened; instead of exerting himself for a vague populace, it would really be for Grail alone that he worked. Thyrza by George Gissing [1887]

Certain vague ideas that had been floating about his mind, of finding her a job as a manicurist or perhaps as a private secretary to a bookie, floated out of it again. A Clergyman’s Daughter by George Orwell

Thomas Hardy Her answers to Cartlett’s remarks were vague and slight, for the group in front interested her more than all the rest of the spectacle. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

F. Scott Fitzgerald For the moment, Dick was too shaken by the impetus of his newly recognized emotion to resolve things into the pattern of the holiday, so the women, missing something, lapsed into a vague unhappiness. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Arnold Bennett Behind the counter an instrument was ticking unheeded, and far within could be discerned the vague bodies of men dealing with parcels. Clayhanger by Arnold Bennett [1910]

Edith Wharton It was restful to be swept through the crowded streets in this smooth fashion, and Clare’s presence at his side gave him a vague sense of ease. The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton [1913]

Margaret Oliphant He felt that he was giving up everything that was visionary, the poetry of vague ideals, and even more, the inspiration of that face, the touch of that hand which had been as soft as snow. The Wizard's Son by Margaret Oliphant [1882]

Ces dames en étaient à l’heure de mélancolie vagueelles éprouvaient le besoin de raconter leur histoire. Nana by Emile Zola [1880]

There was nothing in all the world, apparently, to worry him, and yet he had that vague uneasiness in his mind. The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey

F. Scott Fitzgerald And he was now inspired also with a vague idea of attending the Gamma Psi dance. Tales of the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Edith Wharton Their first talk left Ralph with a dazzled sense of Moffatt’s strength and keenness, but with a vague doubt as to the “straightness” of the proposed transaction. The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton [1913]

I began to read, while a vague hope, that had neither object or basis, trembled at the bottom of my heart. Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin [1820]

Charles Dickens Vendale, on the other hand, always contending generously against his first vague mistrust, now felt bound to contend against it more than ever: reminding himself, “He is Marguerite’s guardian. No Thoroughfare by Charles Dickens [1867]

Gustave Flauber He appeared in the distance against the background of the sky, vague as a phantom and motionless as stone. Salammbo by Gustave Flauber

He wore white cotton trousers, down the seams of which he had sewed red stripes with some vague aim at military decoration. Cabbages and Kings by O. Henry [1904]

H.P. Lovecraft The Knight’s Head had been his headquarters, and when he was confined he expressed some vague gratitude as if for protection. Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family by H.P. Lovecraft [1920]

Then he stared through the window and could see the earth quite close, vague and snail-gray, scampering underneath. Lost Horizon by James Hilton

A sensation which was not curiosity, but rather a vague nervous anxiety, distinctly unpleasant, like a mysterious symptom of some malady, prevented him from getting up and going away. The Planter of Malata by Joseph Conrad [1915]

H.P. Lovecraft Thus I was driven to vague and frightful speculations concerning the whereabouts of my true self during the years that another had held my body. The Shadow Out of Time by H.P. Lovecraft [1935]

Olaf Stapledon The main cause of the common reluctance to accept this theory is probably a vague sense that it is subversive, and a vague repugnance felt against materialism. Philosophy and Living by Olaf Stapledon [1939]

Walter Scott Love, like despair, catches at straws; and, faint and vague as was the hope which this insinuation conveyed, the tears of the Countess Isabelle flowed more placidly while she dwelt upon it. Quentin Durward by Walter Scott [1823]

Arnold Bennett Clothes were hung behind the door, and a vague wisp of muslin moved slightly in the warm draught from the tiny open window. Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett [1911]

H. G. Wells Suddenly he started out of a vague reverie and pressed an investigatory hand to his side. A Story of the Days To Come by H. G. Wells [1897]

James Joyce He looked with vague hope up and down the quay, a big apple bulging in his neck. Ulysses by James Joyce [1922]

Radclyffe Hall She stooped a little and her figure was no longer so girlish; there was a vague spread about it, although she was still thin. The Unlit Lamp by Radclyffe Hall

Her firm mouth, with the lips slightly parted and disclosing a gleam of white teeth, put a vague suggestion of ferocity into the impatient expression of her features. Almayer’s Folly by Joseph Conrad [1895]

She thought already, with a vague pang, of the time when he should go out into the world, and she be no longer necessary to him. The Lovels of Arden by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1871]

E. Phillips Oppenheim And you, my friend?” “I am never sure of my movements,” was the vague reply. The Spy Paramount by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1934]

Edith Wharton It was not merely her title and her “situation,” but the experiences she had gained through them, that gave her this advantage over the loud vague company. The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton [1913]

In spite of Lady Audley’s fascination, and in spite of Robert’s very unqualified admiration of her, the barrister could not overcome a vague feeling of uneasiness on this quiet September evening. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1862]

Jack London There was something about the slope of the shoulders and the fringe of silver hair between coat collar and slouch hat that aroused vague memories. The Iron Heel by Jack London [1908]

Marie Corelli We only offer vague hopes and dubious promises to those who thirst for the living waters of salvation and immortality — it is as if we did not feel sure enough of God ourselves to make others sure. The Master-Christian by Marie Corelli [1900]

Arthur Conan Doyle My mind is like a crowded box-room with packets of all sorts stowed away therein — so many that I may well have but a vague perception of what was there. The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle [1927]

Henry Handel Richardson Again and again he told himself that his dreams and hopes—which he had always pushed forward into a vague and far-off future—had actually come to pass. Maurice Guest by Henry Handel Richardson

M. P. Shiel Somewhere hereabouts, I thought, was the place they called ‘The Sweet Waters,’ and I went on with the vague notion of coming upon them, thinking to pass the day, till afternoon, in the forest. The Purple Cloud by M. P. Shiel [1901]

Trent cried, “Is there room for me?” but the other only waved his arm in a vague adieu and was gone with the rest. The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers

Arthur Machen And to the best of my belief I have never seen anyone like her; what I felt was a kind of dim far-off memory, vague but persistent. The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen

George Gissing He began to shake out the ashes from his pipe, with a vague intention of relighting it. In the Year of Jubilee by George Gissing [1894]

Sometimes we caught glimpses of a sombre, glowing fury within him — a brooding and vague sense of wrong, and a concentrated lust of violence which is dangerous in a native. Tales of Unrest by Joseph Conrad [1898]

Edith Wharton But she must have felt a vague relief at having her explanation cut short, for she concluded, again invoking the daguerreotypes: “Of course I shall always do what I can for you; and in case . Summer by Edith Wharton [1917]

Margaret Oliphant He sat listless in a vague comfort and weariness, his head throbbing with the fumes of his past excitement, yet not aching. Salem Chapel by Margaret Oliphant [1862]

James Joyce As he passed the door he remembered with a vague fear the warm turf-coloured bogwater, the warm moist air, the noise of plunges, the smell of the towels, like medicine. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

D. H. Lawrence There was another child coming, and Anna lapsed into vague content. The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence

E. Phillips Oppenheim Her husband, although, for a Frenchman, he was by no means of a jealous disposition, was conscious of a vague feeling of uneasiness as he watched them pass out of the room together. Peter Ruff and the Double Four by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1912]

Guy de Maupassant At first I feel a vague uneasiness in my mind which causes a cold shiver to run all over me. He? (Lui?) by Guy de Maupassant [1883]

William Makepeace Thackeray And the question and answer of the mysterious horsemen is fine: “Don’t you know where you are? In Spain.” A vague solution, such as one has of occurrences in dreams sometimes. The Irish Sketch Book by William Makepeace Thackeray [1843]

Henry James The air was silent and sharp, and the vague snow looked cruel. The Bostonians by Henry James [1886]

Edgar Allan Poe I cannot deny that there has always existed, as if in that very soul which I have been denying, a vague half-sentiment of its own existence. Tales of Science by Edgar Allan Poe

G. K. Chesterton At least I never, even in this first vague and sceptical stage, indulged very much in the current arguments about the relativity of evil or the unreality of sin. Autobiography by G. K. Chesterton [1936]

Edith Wharton When the curtain fell this vague enjoyment was heightened by various acts of recognition. The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton [1913]

Edith Wharton Mary knew that the investigations were still being carried on, but she had a vague sense of their gradually slackening, as the actual march of time seemed to slacken. Tales of Men and Ghosts by Edith Wharton [1910]

Henry James Her mother moreover, I think, had a vague consciousness of embarrassment. The Patagonia by Henry James [1888]

I was sure I had never seen the man in real life, though there had been a vague familiarity about him, too. Serapion by Francis Stevens

William Hope Hodgson We all heard it — a kind of dull, soft thud, thud, thud, thud, somewhere in the hull under us, yet so vague as to make me half doubtful I heard it, only that the others did so, too. The Derelict by William Hope Hodgson

Jack London In vague ways it was borne in upon him that a change was impending. White Fang by Jack London [1906]

E. Phillips Oppenheim The vague light from outside was shimmering in her hair. The Spy Paramount by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1934]

Olaf Stapledon With a vague shame and guilt, which I irrationally felt on my own account, I left him. A Man Divided by Olaf Stapledon

Sinclair Lewis In vague disquiet he started the car and mechanically drove on, while Gunch’s hostile eyes seemed to follow him all the way. Babbit by Sinclair Lewis

Jules Verne Une vague réverbération éclairait son gréement et indiquait que les feux étaient poussés à outrance. Vingt Mille Lieues sous les Mers by Jules Verne [1869-70]

Arthur Conan Doyle She is interested in it, as woman usually is in whatever is vague and mystical and indefinite. The Parasite by Arthur Conan Doyle [1894]

Wilkie Collins The persecution began to grow intolerable; he felt a kind of angry curiosity mingling now with the vague dread that had hitherto oppressed him. After Dark by Wilkie Collins [1856]

H. G. Wells I cannot remember now a word of all the vague threatenings against the sundering universe with which I replied. The Passionate Friends by H. G. Wells [1913]

Wilkie Collins As I grew up, I still retained my vague dread and abhorrence of our absent relative. The Queen of Hearts by Wilkie Collins [1859]

H. G. Wells He was in the bar of the Long Dragon, arguing about miracles with Toddy Beamish. He had a vague sense of some great thing forgotten that instantaneously passed. The Man Who Could Work Miracles by H. G. Wells [1898]

A. E. W. Mason The girl traced a vague pattern on the tablecloth with her fingers. The Affair at the Semiramis Hotel by A. E. W. Mason [1917]

D. H. Lawrence What a sweet noise! But there was a vague uneasiness. The Mortal Coil by D. H. Lawrence [1917]

Arthur Conan Doyle In the deep shadow of the tree there was a deeper shadow yet, black, inchoate, vague — a crouching form full of savage vigor and menace. The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle [1912]

H.P. Lovecraft Charles Ward, however, discovered another vague sidelight in some Fenner correspondence which he found in New London, where he knew another branch of the family had lived. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H.P. Lovecraft [1927]

He had been arrested for ‘loitering with intent to enter’— a vague offence for which you generally get convicted if there are previous convictions against you. Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell

Guy de Maupassan She felt a sort of vague gratitude to this man who had clasped her in his arms, and she forgave him the sorrows he had caused her, and dwelt only on the happy moments they had passed together. Une Vie (A Woman’s Life) by Guy de Maupassan

Henry James The lady indeed thus thrust upon Herbert’s vision might have struck an observer either as not quite vague or as vague with a perverse intensity suggesting design. The Bench of Desolation by Henry James [1909]

Thomas Wolfe What I mean is”— again the vague and puzzled tone —“when you think of how . You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe [1940]

Edgar Allan Poe I had little object — certainly no hope these researches; but a vague curiosity prompted me to continue them. Old World Romances by Edgar Allan Poe

But in this strange, unhuman place? What vague demon might he not discover if he dared look behind that wall? Yet his very fear drove him. The Heads of Cerberus by Francis Stevens

H. G. Wells She whispered other vague things, little sentences, ghosts of long dead moments. In the Days of the Comet by H. G. Wells [1906]

Anthony Trollope He had heard a vague rumour that Captain Marrable, his rival, was a very dangerous man. The Vicar of Bullhampton by Anthony Trollope [1870]

The pain had left him again, as it generally did after he had remained quiet for a time, and in the relief from it he had a vague impression that the present moment was too good to last. Diana Tempest by Mary Cholmondeley [1893]

G. K. Chesterton On the one hand Darwin, especially through the strong journalistic genius of Huxley, had won a very wide spread though an exceedingly vague victory. The Victorian Age in Literature by G. K. Chesterton [1913]

Henry James And indeed he had no great desire to share his vague mistrust with any one. The Europeans by Henry James [1878]

Edgar Allan Poe I was unwilling to trust myself with a race of people who had offered, to the cursory glance I had taken, so many points of vague novelty, doubt, and apprehension. Tales of Science by Edgar Allan Poe

Maria Edgeworth As soon as possible! but what a vague hope! He sails with the first fair wind. Leonora by Maria Edgeworth [1806]

Guy de Maupassan First they opened a vague conversation on the subject of self-sacrifice. Boule de Suif by Guy de Maupassan

The face of the peasant, preoccupied and gloomy wavered in vague outline before the eyes of the mother, and for some reason caused her dismal annoyance. Mother by Maksim Gorky

Henry James She spoke with a vague foreign accent, as if she had spent her life in strange countries. Roderick Hudson by Henry James [1875]

Muffat surtout, qui n’avait jamais visité les coulisses d’un théâtre, s’étonnait, pris d’un malaise, d’une répugnance vague mêlée de peur. Nana by Emile Zola [1880]

She banished it, but it clung with her, vague and weighty as a nightmare, and when she looked backwards on the road Art’s eyes were looking into hers with a quietness that almost drove her mad. Demi-Gods by James Stephens

Henry James Mrs. Hudson rose with a soft, vague sound of distress, and stood looking at him shrinkingly and waveringly, as if she were sorely tempted to retreat through the open window. Roderick Hudson by Henry James [1875]

And here she was, alive and merry, knowing no greater uneasiness than a vague dread of increasing plumpness, induced by French dinners. Eleanor's Victory by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1863]

Henry James Over these young people — a vague report of their existence had come to his ears — Mr. Wentworth had not, in the course of years, allowed his imagination to hover. The Europeans by Henry James [1878]

Pelisson and Gourville walked arm in arm, as if conversing upon vague and frivolous subjects. The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas [1848-1850]

Ce fut justement un jeudi soir, vers la fin du mois, que la première nouvelle du Domaine étrange, la première vague de cette aventure dont nous ne reparlions pas arriva jusqu’) nous. Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier [1913]

And yet there was nothing to identify, only that vague something which I knew I’d seen before. Coming up for Air by George Orwell

H. G. Wells The snow had suddenly become thick again, and sliding with the whirling eddies out of the black pit of the sky came something, vague and large and very swift. When the Sleeper Wakes by H. G. Wells [1899]

H. G. Wells The king and his minister had talked at first in whispers; they had fallen silent, for they found little now to express except a vague anxiety. The World Set Free by H. G. Wells [1914]

In most people his name seems to evoke, at most, a vague memory of ‘doing’ The Cloister and the Hearth as a school holiday task. Charles Reade by George Orwell [1940]

John Ruskin For instance: the public are under a vague impression that, because they have paid for the contents of the British Museum, every one has an equal right to see and to handle them. Munera Pulveris by John Ruskin

Henry James It had the effect of causing Maisie to heave a vague sigh of oppression and then after an instant and as if under cover of this ambiguity pass out again upon the balcony. What Maisie Knew by Henry James [1897]

D. H. Lawrence Connie and Clifford had now been nearly two years at Wragby, living their vague life of absorption in Clifford and his work. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence

James Joyce Stephen made a vague gesture of denial. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

Olaf Stapledon One may encounter in some sheltered cranny a vague greenish slime. Last Men in London by Olaf Stapledon

Arnold Bennett He seemed to have a vague idea that Shillitoe might sneer at him. Clayhanger by Arnold Bennett [1910]

Wilkie Collins Innocent alike of all knowledge of the serious reason for fear which did really exist, Mrs. Ellmother and Alban felt, nevertheless, the same vague distrust of an intimacy between the two girls. I Say No by Wilkie Collins [1884]

Anthony Trollope Could there be no rescue, no protection, no relief? He turned over in his head various plans, but in a vague and useless manner. The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope

Henry James Mrs. Gracedew kissed after her a hand of vague comfort. Covering End by Henry James [1898]

H. G. Wells Once that decision was taken his imagination became riotous with things he might say, attitudes he might strike, and a multitude of vague fine dreams about her. Love and Mr Lewisham by H. G. Wells [1900]

Virginia Woolf The house was one of those flat red houses with hanging flower-baskets of vague impropriety. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf [1925]

Henry Handel Richardson He was aware, too, of a vague anxiety, which he could not repress; and these feelings successfully prevented him taking an undue pleasure in what was happening to him. Maurice Guest by Henry Handel Richardson

Charles Dickens When this manifestation of the disease is observed, the observer will usually connect it with a vague impression once formed or received, that the patient was living a little too hard. The Uncommercial Traveller by Charles Dickens [1860]

Dr Drummond had persuaded Finlay to go to Winnipeg with a vague hope that something in the fortnight’s grace thus provided, might be induced to happen. The Imperialist by Sara Jeannette Duncan [1904]

You may call it silly, but I have no nerves and am little susceptible to vague sentiment. The Watcher by the Threshold by John Buchan [1900]

Arthur Conan Doyle It is certainly very vague after the Yorkshire examples. The Coming of the Fairies by Arthur Conan Doyle [1922]

Herman Melville All sorts of vague apprehensions stirred them. The Bell-Tower by Herman Melville

Thomas Carlyle This, though not very precise, yet on so vague a matter is worth remembering: if well meditated, some meaning will gradually be found in it. On Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History by Thomas Carlyle

George Eliot His uncle Glegg, he felt sure, would never encourage any spirited project, but he had a vague imposing idea of the resources at his uncle Deane’s command. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot [1860]

Arthur Conan Doyle Through the haze I had a vague vision of Holmes in his dressing-gown coiled up in an armchair with his black clay pipe between his lips. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle [1902]

Wilkie Collins At the same time, I must acknowledge that a vague impression of distrust was left on my mind by what I had read. Jezebel’s Daughter by Wilkie Collins [1880]

He wondered what it could be-certainly not a glow-worm, the season for them was past long ago—and he watched it as he advanced towards it with a vague feeling of uneasiness. Captain Fracasse by Théophile Gautier [1863]

H. G. Wells It had the effect of a little bright light held up against the vague dark immensities of thought and feeling that filled my mind because of my father’s death. The Passionate Friends by H. G. Wells [1913]

F. Scott Fitzgerald Vanity, tempered with self-suspicion if not self-knowledge, a sense of people as automatons to his will, a desire to “pass” as many boys as possible and get to a vague top of the world . This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

He sprang out of bed, and in his confusion made sure the officers of justice were come for him: he began to huddle on his clothes with a vague notion of flight. Hard Cash by Charles Reade [1863]

Arnold Bennett Then vague noises and smells would commence. The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett [1908]

H.P. Lovecraft It was in a deep, damp hollow, overgrown with rank grass, moss, and curious creeping weeds, and filled with a vague stench which my idle fancy associated absurdly with rotting stone. The Statement of Randolph Carter by H.P. Lovecraft [1919]

Henry James Mr. Probert looked at him a moment in vague surprise, but only said: “I think they are. The Reverberator by Henry James [1888]

Edith Wharton Mrs. Peniston thought the country lonely and trees damp, and cherished a vague fear of meeting a bull. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton [1905]

Yet even in that kindly face there was a vague indignation and distress, though it passed almost as our eyes met. Mr. Justice Raffles by E. W. Hornung [1909]

Henry James It was a presence with vague edges — it continued to front her, to cover her. What Maisie Knew by Henry James [1897]

George Meredith He tracked her sorrowfulness to the want of money; and another of his terrific vague struggles with the money-demon set in. Rhoda Fleming by George Meredith [1865]

W. H. Hudson The sight of some extraordinary phenomenon produces a vague sense of someone acting with a given purpose. Idle Days in Patagonia by W. H. Hudson

H. G. Wells He returned to the seat and found the old man muttering vague interrogations in an undertone. When the Sleeper Wakes by H. G. Wells [1899]

Henry James He noticed in fact after a little the vague confusion of my gaze and asked me — with complete good nature — why I stared at him so hard. The Sacred Fount by Henry James [1901]

It is hard to see any practical reason for this change of fashion: it is probably due to an instinctive turning-away from the more homely word and a vague feeling that the Greek word is scientific. Politics and the English Language by George Orwell

H.P. Lovecraft Horrified, he had taken to the woods in a vague effort to escape from the scene of what must have been his crime. Beyond the Wall of Sleep by H.P. Lovecraft [1919]

Edith Wharton All you fellows were used to seeing my shadow there in the small hours — I counted on that, and knew you’d take any vague outline as mine. Tales of Men and Ghosts by Edith Wharton [1910]

Wilkie Collins A vague distrust stole over him at the appearance of Miss Silvester’s name in connection with the lines which had preceded it. Man and Wife by Wilkie Collins [1870]

Henry James This activity had been during that time of a vague character, except in the sense that it was exclusively social. The Siege of London by Henry James [1883]