Definition of vagary
: an erratic, unpredictable, or extravagant manifestation, action, or notion
vagary was our Word of the Day on 04/01/2016. Hear the podcast!
Examples of vagary in a sentence
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 offense. 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 and Etymology of vagary
perhaps borrowed from Latin vagārī “to wander, roam” — more at 1vagabond
First Known Use: 1579
Synonym Discussion of vagary
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up vagary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).