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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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for vagaries
  • The vagaries of currents within the mantle mean that the crust and core can and do rotate at slightly different rates.
  • His emphasis on the vagaries of life was all the more appealing within his circle because of his jauntiness and verve.
  • Even though it has settled down to a stable middle age, the sun may have its vagaries.
  • Maybe it's the vagaries of the whole debate that keep the confusion fueled.
  • Even after they are sold, they cannot be left entirely to the vagaries of the market.
  • To that extent, mankind is still vulnerable to the vagaries of the planet.
  • No longer are investment plans tied to the vagaries of a firm's cash flow.
  • Diagrams on the wall clarify the shape vagaries of the waistline.
  • Today such acquisitions are more likely to stay put, destined to survive both market fluctuations and the vagaries of style.
  • The vagaries of studying and researching defense mechanisms are many and varied.
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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