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vague +‎ -ery, perhaps influenced by vagary. Attested since at least the 1800s.


vaguery (countable and uncountable, plural vagueries)

  1. (uncountable) Vagueness, the condition of being vague.
    • 1859, New Exegesis of Shakespeare, page 245-6:
      [] this badge of rivalry and intrusion, and of the vaguery and vacillation which restrain them through dread of danger.
    • 1977 (first publication; republication in 2003), Tom Nairn, The Break-Up of Britain: crisis and neo-nationalism - Page 68:
      As a matter of fact, the particular breadth and vaguery of residual all-British consciousness decays more readily into racialism than into a defined, territorially restricted nationalism.
    • 1985, Stephen Chan, The Commonwealth Observer Group in Zimbabwe: a personal memoir, page 11:
      The wording of diplomatic agreements and protocols is often deliberately designed either to soothe ruffled feathers — while pursuing an otherwise ruthless course — or to give assurance in sufficiently vague form that the vaguery might afterwards be exploited to diminish the effect of the assurances.
    • 1988, Kenneth Pickering, How to Study Modern Drama:
      There is a sharp and effective contrast between the incisiveness and energy of his speech and the vaguery and haziness he is attacking.
    • 2003, Annette Fierro, The Glass State: the technology of the spectacle, Paris, 1981-1998, page 103:
      Incumbent on the quest for vaguery are frustration and unrequited desire; complete accessibility is inherently denied as part of its most basic definition.
  2. (countable) A vagueness, a thing which is vague, an example of vagueness.
  3. (countable, in the plural) An eggcorn for vagaries.
    • 1980, Nicholas P. Cushner, Lords of the Land: sugar, wine, and Jesuit estates of coastal Peru, 1600-1767, page 14:
      Some were indeed powerful men belonging to powerful families, exercising authority and influence, but the vagueries of colonial economic conditions made their holdings precarious.
    • 1983, Marvin Davis, Rank and Rivalry: the politics of inequality in rural West Bengal, page 191:
      Yet whatever their faith in the importance of a politicized citizenry, the framers of the Indian Constitution left little to the vagueries of mass political participation.


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