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[vuh-gair-ee, vey-guh-ree] /vəˈgɛər i, ˈveɪ gə ri/
noun, plural vagaries.
an unpredictable or erratic action, occurrence, course, or instance:
the vagaries of weather; the vagaries of the economic scene.
a whimsical, wild, or unusual idea, desire, or action.
Origin of vagary
1565-75, in sense “wandering journey”; apparently < Latin vagārī to wander
2. caprice, whim, quirk, crotchet. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for vagaries
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The power to hold in check the vagaries of imagination may be gone.

    The Great Hunger Johan Bojer
  • The vagaries of the mountain atmosphere rarely concerned him.

    The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
  • It has no thought of time and it accepts all the vagaries of your laziness.

    Journeys to Bagdad

    Charles S. Brooks
  • Silvey smiled, as does an adult listening to the vagaries of a child.

    A Son of the City

    Herman Gastrell Seely
  • The vagaries of the human mind are beyond our understanding.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
  • It is too depressing, these vagaries, these senile ramblings of a superannuated musician.

    Old Fogy James Huneker
  • Pussy sat at the window watching my vagaries with astonishment.

    Cat and Dog

    Julia Charlotte Maitland
  • Let us talk a little about Susannah, and all these vagaries will be dispersed.

    Japhet in Search of a Father Frederick Marryat
British Dictionary definitions for vagaries


/ˈveɪɡərɪ; vəˈɡɛərɪ/
noun (pl) -garies
an erratic or outlandish notion or action; whim
Word Origin
C16: probably from Latin vagārī to roam; compare Latin vagusvague
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for vagaries



1570s, "a wandering, a roaming journey," probably from Latin vagari "to wander, roam, be unsettled, spread abroad," from vagus "roving, wandering" (see vague). Current meaning of "eccentric notion or conduct" (1620s) is from notion of mental wandering. Related: Vagaries.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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