vagrancy

noun

va·​gran·​cy ˈvā-grən(t)-sē How to pronounce vagrancy (audio)
plural vagrancies
1
: the state or action of being vagrant
2
: the offense of being a vagrant
3
: vagary

Examples of vagrancy in a Sentence

a frequent victim to the vagrancies of the heart, she had a succession of passionate but short-lived romances
Recent Examples on the Web In 1972, the Supreme Court overturned a Jacksonville, Florida, law prohibiting vagrancy. Claire Thornton, USA TODAY, 17 Apr. 2024 The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear an appeal challenging a judicial ruling that established a de facto constitutional right to vagrancy. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 12 Jan. 2024 Tingley found that during fall migrations, geomagnetic disturbances were strongly associated with vagrancy. Maddie Bender, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Nov. 2023 For local voters, the councilman said, easy access to marijuana conjures up associations with elevated crime and vagrancy. John Aguilar, Hartford Courant, 4 Jan. 2024 In the other study, in Scientific Reports, ecologist Morgan Tingley of the University of California, Los Angeles, correlated bird vagrancy with geomagnetic disturbances and solar activity. Maddie Bender, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Nov. 2023 In the fall and not the spring, more birds drifted with the wind, and geomagnetic disturbances were associated with vagrancy. Maddie Bender, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Nov. 2023 Some have flown into Alaska, but in 2021 one of the birds, nicknamed Stella, made it all the way across North America to Nova Scotia, a behavior that scientists describe as avian vagrancy. The New York Times Elaine Chen Emily Anthes, New York Times, 18 May 2023 He was duly arrested, for vagrancy and for attempting to incite a riot, and thrown in jail, but the charges were dismissed for lack of evidence. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, 31 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vagrancy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of vagrancy was in 1641

Dictionary Entries Near vagrancy

Cite this Entry

“Vagrancy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vagrancy. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

vagrancy

noun
va·​gran·​cy ˈvā-grən(t)-sē How to pronounce vagrancy (audio)
plural vagrancies
: the state or action of being vagrant

Legal Definition

vagrancy

noun
va·​gran·​cy ˈvā-grən-sē How to pronounce vagrancy (audio)
plural vagrancies
1
: the act or practice of wandering about from place to place
2
: the crime of wandering about without employment or identifiable means of support
the court struck down the vagrancy law as unconstitutionally vague

Note: Most vagrancy laws have been abolished.

More from Merriam-Webster on vagrancy

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