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

Example Sentences

a frequent victim to the vagrancies of the heart, she had a succession of passionate but short-lived romances
Recent Examples on the Web While crime and vagrancy are reasons to oppose light rail, my opposition is based on the excessively high construction cost and possibility of subsidies that may be required to sustain operation. Maritza Dominguez, The Arizona Republic, 20 Sep. 2022 Other business owners have raised similar concerns of harassment, saying the neighborhood has been overrun by an open-air drug market polluted with violence and vagrancy. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 22 July 2022 Most residents consider crime and vagrancy bigger public threats than billionaires. Allysia Finley, WSJ, 3 June 2022 The stabbings are part of a general increase in subway crime that preceded, but has continued in the days since, Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a new crackdown on crime and vagrancy on the subway system. NBC News, 2 Mar. 2022 It’s the oldest park in Utah’s capital, with 175 years of history and a reputation in recent decades of being run-down and prone to crime and vagrancy. The Salt Lake Tribune, 18 Feb. 2022 An itinerant worker who had slept in a barn the night before, Randolph thought the men were attempting to arrest him for trespassing or vagrancy. Clint Smith, The Atlantic, 2 Feb. 2022 The 100-player league has been practicing and playing for years on rundown ballfields ravaged by age, neglect, disrepair, vandalism and vagrancy. San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Jan. 2022 Hill has an extensive history of misdemeanor cases involving trespassing, obstruction, battery, vagrancy, larceny and theft allegations. Ken Ritter And Terry Tang, Star Tribune, 13 July 2021 See More

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.

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 28 Nov. 2022.

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.

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