Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

vagary

[vuh-gair-ee, vey-guh-ree]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural va·gar·ies.
  1. an unpredictable or erratic action, occurrence, course, or instance: the vagaries of weather; the vagaries of the economic scene.
  2. a whimsical, wild, or unusual idea, desire, or action.

Origin of vagary

1565–75, in sense “wandering journey”; apparently < Latin vagārī to wander

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
2. caprice, whim, quirk, crotchet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vagary

Historical Examples

  • How near they would pass depended on the vagary of the waves and the tide.

    Blow The Man Down

    Holman Day

  • The storm still raged, and she thought it was a vagary of the lightning.

  • What vagary had sent a girl who looked like this upon such a task!

    Before the Dawn

    Joseph Alexander Altsheler

  • If we could civilize our schools, we should have no mention of legislation by vagary.

  • So, Stephen, after a lifetime of vagary and wandering, this is the result.


British Dictionary definitions for vagary

vagary

noun plural -garies
  1. an erratic or outlandish notion or action; whim

Word Origin

C16: probably from Latin vagārī to roam; compare Latin vagus vague
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

Word Origin and History for vagary

n.

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

  • About
  • Cookies, Terms, & Privacy
© 2018 Dictionary.com, LLC.