• synonyms


[vuh-gair-ee, vey-guh-ree]
See more synonyms for vagary 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.
Show More

Origin of vagary

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


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

whim, quirk, humor, crotchet, whimsy, fancy, idea, impulse, notion, inconsistency, inconstancy

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


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

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


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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper