capricious was our Word of the Day on 04/02/2015. Hear the podcast!
Examples of capricious in a Sentence
… every balloon voyage is a race between capricious winds and the amount of fuel on board. —Tom Morganthau, Newsweek, 29 Mar. 1999
She is capricious, however, and is said to take bribes and wantonly peddle her influence from time to time. —Hunter S. Thompson, Rolling Stone, 15 Dec. 1994
Lady Luck is a capricious mother who, as in a recurrent nightmare, always offers, never comes through, and never stops smiling. —Hugh Drummond, Boston Magazine, November 1989
I don't believe in random occurrences or blind chance, though I know the patterns of this world are capricious and terribly complex. —Leslie Marmon Silko, letter, 21 Aug. 1979
employees who are at the mercy of a capricious manager
The court ruled that the punishment was arbitrary and capricious.
Recent Examples of capricious from the Web
Pingree and other proponents of the bill accuse the Service of only recently requiring that sea urchins and sea cucumbers be inspected, suggesting that there was some arbitrary and capricious change in policy or enforcement.
But his inexperience, and Trump's capricious nature mean that Macron may be playing with fire.
The prosecution will have to show the killing was capricious and unjustified because the sergeant had alternatives to using deadly force, such as retreating or using a Taser.
But the latter can be more important in China, where professional investors need to be able to parse often opaque government pronouncements and stay ahead of capricious retail investors.
That’s where the best moments of del Toro’s films always seem to be taking place—in the capricious infinite as it is apprehended, warily, in the mind’s eye of a child.
To pick against my childhood team might be seen as the best way to pull one over on the capricious gods of baseball.
But when law enforcement becomes capricious, citizens are apt to resort to their own law, rooted in ancient impulses, tribal loyalties, and vengeance.
On Saturday, the skies were a big presence: hot sun, friendly and capricious clouds, rain of several varieties.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capricious'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
How Long Has Caprice Appeared in English?
The noun caprice, which first appeared in English in the mid-17th century, is a synonym of whim. Evidence shows that the adjective capricious debuted about sixty years before caprice; it's likely, however, that both words derived via French from the Italian capriccio, which originally referred not to a sudden desire but to a sudden shudder of fear. Capriccio in turn derives from the Italian capo, meaning "head," and riccio, the word for "hedgehog." Someone who shuddered in fear, therefore, was said to have a "hedgehog head"-meaning that his or her hair stood on end like the spines of a hedgehog.
Synonym Discussion of capricious
CAPRICIOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of capricious for English Language Learners
: changing often and quickly; especially : often changing suddenly in mood or behavior
: not logical or reasonable : based on an idea, desire, etc., that is not possible to predict
CAPRICIOUS Defined for Kids
Definition of capricious for Students
1 : moved or controlled by a sudden desire a capricious shopper
2 : likely to change suddenly capricious weather
Legal Definition of capricious
1 : governed or characterized by impulse or whim: as a : lacking a rational basis b : likely to change suddenly
2 : not supported by the weight of evidence or established rules of law —often used in the phrase arbitrary and capricious
Seen and Heard
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