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vagary

[vuh-gair-ee, vey-guh-ree] /vəˈgɛər i, ˈveɪ gə ri/
noun, plural vagaries.
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
1565-1575
1565-75, in sense “wandering journey”; apparently < Latin vagārī to wander
Synonyms
2. caprice, whim, quirk, crotchet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for vagary
  • For those not in the know, this is a vagary of planetary alignment that occurs about three times a year.
  • Such vagary was characteristic of subsequent enumerations.
  • During storage the modules are subject to excess ground water in isolated or large areas, depending on weather vagary.
  • He caught at every illusive vagary that might promise to retrieve his error.
British Dictionary definitions for vagary

vagary

/ˈveɪɡərɪ; vəˈɡɛərɪ/
noun (pl) -garies
1.
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 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
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