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 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 Austin incentivized vagrancy as a lifestyle choice and did nothing to prepare for the consequences of the policy shift. Matt Mackowiak, National Review, 23 May 2021 Levels of vagrancy in progressive redoubts like New York City and San Francisco have reached levels that are too high to ignore. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, 18 May 2021 The park, which is adjacent to West Harbor Drive and opposite convention hotels, has become a hotspot for crime, drugs and vagrancy, city staffers have said. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Mar. 2021 The mostly passive Marina District park is a hotspot for vagrancy, drugs and crime, Richter said. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Feb. 2021 During what seems to have been an especially well-lubricated 1953 Memorial Day weekend, Anchorage police arrested 53 for drunkenness and vagrancy, requiring a special court session to separate those who could be sentenced to the farm. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Apr. 2020 And like most vagrancy laws more broadly, anti-loitering laws were race-neutral on paper. Bonnie Kristian, TheWeek, 7 May 2020 The problem is really a mixture of poverty, mental illness, substance abuse, criminality, vagrancy and a certain percentage that could honestly do other things, but they, for various reasons, choose to live that way. Anchorage Daily News, 28 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for vagrancy

Time Traveler

The first known use of vagrancy was in 1641

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Cite this Entry

“Vagrancy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on vagrancy

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


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