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vagary

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noun va·ga·ry \ˈvā-gə-rē; və-ˈger-ē, vā-; also ˈva-gə-rē\

Definition of vagary

plural vagaries

  1. :  an erratic, unpredictable, or extravagant manifestation, action, or notion



Examples of vagary in a sentence

  1. <the vagaries of a rather eccentric, elderly lady>



Did You Know?

In the 16th century, if you "made a vagary" you took a wandering journey, or you figuratively wandered from a correct path by committing some minor offence. If you spoke or wrote vagaries, you wandered from a main subject. These senses hadn't strayed far from their origin, as vagary is probably based on Latin vagari, meaning "to wander." Indeed, in the 16th and 17th centuries there was even an English verb vagary that meant "to wander." Nowadays, the noun vagary is mostly used in its plural form, and vagaries have more to do with unpredictability than with wandering.

Origin of vagary

probably from Latin vagari to wander, from vagus wandering


First Known Use: 1579

Synonym Discussion of vagary

caprice, whim, vagary, crotchet mean an irrational or unpredictable idea or desire. caprice stresses lack of apparent motivation and suggests willfulness <by sheer caprice she quit her job>. whim implies a fantastic, capricious turn of mind or inclination <an odd antique that was bought on a whim>. vagary stresses the erratic, irresponsible character of the notion or desire <he had been prone to strange vagaries>. crotchet implies an eccentric opinion or preference <a serious scientist equally known for his bizarre crotchets>.


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