[vuh-gair-ee, vey-guh-ree]
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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 for vagary

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Historical Examples of vagary

British Dictionary definitions for vagary


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

Word Origin for vagary

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper