vagary
Pronunciation
  • (America, formerly) IPA: /vəˈɡɛɹi/
  • (America, now commonly) IPA: /ˈveɪɡəɹi/
Noun

vagary (plural vagaries)

  1. An erratic, unpredictable occurrence or action.
    • 1871, Charles Kingsley, At Last: A Christmas In The West Indies, ch. 8:
      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.
  2. An impulsive or illogical desire; a caprice or 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.
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