Jump to navigation Jump to search
From Italian vagare (“wander”) and/or its source Latin vagārī (“to wander”), from Latin vagus (“wandering”). Later apparently reinterpreted in English as vague + -ery but without changing the spelling.
- (General American, formerly) IPA(key): /vəˈɡɛɹi/
- (General American, now commonly) IPA(key): /ˈveɪɡəɹi/
Audio (US) (file)
vagary (plural vagaries)
- An erratic, unpredictable occurrence or action.
- 1871, Charles Kingsley, chapter 8, in At Last: A Christmas In The West Indies:
- It now turns out that the Pitch Lake, like most other things, owes its appearance on the surface to no convulsion or vagary at all, but to a most slow, orderly, and respectable process of nature, by which buried vegetable matter, which would have become peat, and finally brown coal, in a temperate climate, becomes, under the hot tropic soil, asphalt and oil.
- 2018, James Lambert, “Anglo-Indian slang in dictionaries on historical principles”, in World Englishes, volume 37, page 251:
- This searching was facilitated by the author's knowledge of the vagaries of Anglo-Indian spelling and the numerous colonial-era transliteration systems used for loanwords from Indian languages.
- 2020 December 3, Cade Metz, Daisuke Wakabayashi, “Google Researcher Says She Was Fired Over Paper Highlighting Bias in A.I.”, in The New York Times, →ISSN:
- These systems learn the vagaries of language by analyzing enormous amounts of text, including thousands of books, Wikipedia entries and other online documents.
- Something vague.
- to speak in vagaries
- An impulsive or illogical desire; a caprice or whim.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:whim
- 1905, Jack London, War of the Classes, Preface:
- And then came the day when my socialism grew respectable,—still a vagary of youth, it was held, but romantically respectable.
An erratic, unpredictable occurrence or action
An impulsive or illogical desire; a caprice