Synonym Chooser

How is the word vagary distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of vagary are caprice, crotchet, and whim. While all these words mean "an irrational or unpredictable idea or desire," vagary stresses the erratic, irresponsible character of the notion or desire.

he had been prone to strange vagaries

When could caprice be used to replace vagary?

While in some cases nearly identical to vagary, caprice stresses lack of apparent motivation and suggests willfulness.

by sheer caprice she quit her job

When can crotchet be used instead of vagary?

The words crotchet and vagary can be used in similar contexts, but crotchet implies an eccentric opinion or preference.

a serious scientist equally known for his bizarre crotchets

Where would whim be a reasonable alternative to vagary?

While the synonyms whim and vagary are close in meaning, whim implies a fantastic, capricious turn of mind or inclination.

an odd antique that was bought on a whim

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Cite this Entry

“Vagary.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/vagary. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

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