va·​gran·​cy | \ ˈvā-grən(t)-sē How to pronounce vagrancy (audio) \
plural vagrancies

Definition of vagrancy

1 : the state or action of being vagrant
2 : the offense of being a vagrant
3 : vagary

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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

The real public nuisances in these progressive sanctuaries are vagrancy, public urination and open drug use that are all increasingly common. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Climate-Change Tort Racket," 8 June 2018 Second, the Municipality has taken important steps to reduce vagrancy and homelessness, which are related to property crime. Anchorage Daily News, "It’s too late to prevent the opioid epidemic, but progress is being made in addressing Anchorage crime," 14 Mar. 2018 And many cities still have vagrancy laws which allow homeless people to be jailed merely for sleeping on the sidewalk. Brenda Cain,, "Author Peter Edelman discusses how poverty has become a crime at today's City Club forum," 13 Dec. 2017 The Kips Bay Towers complex, currently being renovated, includes a three-acre park that closed to the public in the 1980s when the area experienced a rise in vagrancy and drugs. Julie Lasky, New York Times, "Kips Bay: An Anonymous Neighborhood With Fringe Benefits," 11 Oct. 2017 According to Politico, this is the highest level of street vagrancy since 2005, when New York City began to measure this phenomenon. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "Nicole Malliotakis’s Battle Cry Should Be ‘Clean Up New York!’," 8 Sep. 2017 In another move to curb issues related to vagrancy and alcohol the commission also unanimously agreed to disallow sales of any hard liquor smaller than a fifth and of single bottles of beer in the city's downtown. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin liquor commission denies license for Nick's to reopen," 12 July 2017 Vagrancy has been an urban issue for longer than that. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: Thanks, Twins, for giving us a chance to cheer and smile," 31 May 2017 The neighborhood concerns run the gamut: Worries about traffic, noise, litter and vagrancy, and fears for the property's fate if Dunkin' were to pull out. John Sharp,, "Dunkin' Donuts project thwarted in Alabama neighborhood where Krispy Kreme once ruled," 10 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vagrancy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of vagrancy

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for vagrancy

vagr(ant) entry 1 or vagr(ant) entry 2 + -ancy

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Statistics for vagrancy

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Time Traveler for vagrancy

The first known use of vagrancy was in 1641

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More Definitions for vagrancy


va·​gran·​cy | \ ˈvā-grən-sē How to pronounce vagrancy (audio) \
plural vagrancies

Legal Definition of vagrancy

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on vagrancy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vagrancy

Spanish Central: Translation of vagrancy

Nglish: Translation of vagrancy for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about vagrancy

Comments on vagrancy

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