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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n vagary an unexpected and inexplicable change in something (in a situation or a person's behavior, etc.) "the vagaries of the weather","his wealth fluctuates with the vagaries of the stock market","he has dealt with human vagaries for many years"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Vagary A wandering or strolling.
    • Vagary Hence, a wandering of the thoughts; a wild or fanciful freak; a whim; a whimsical purpose. "The vagaries of a child.""They changed their minds,
      Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • vagary To gad; range.
    • n vagary A wandering or strolling.
    • n vagary A wandering of the thoughts; a wild freak; a whim; a whimsical purpose.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Vagary va-gā′ri a wandering of the thoughts: a wild freak: a whim
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. vagari, to stroll about. See Vague


In literature:

And the tornado had displayed the vagaries of its kind.
"The Heart's Kingdom" by Maria Thompson Daviess
Translations have often exhibited very strange vagaries of taste.
"History of English Humour, Vol. 2 (of 2)" by Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange
But as a general rule, it is wise enough to tolerate such pleasant vagaries of worshipping woman.
"The Continental Monthly, Vol III, Issue VI, June, 1863" by Various
But he was too sorry for her to be amused at the vagaries of her sick brain.
"The Quirt" by B.M. Bower
It grieves us beyond measure to see how it has been suffering from the vagaries of weak minds.
"History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology" by John F. Hurst
Of all Ruth's vagaries this seemed the vaguest and most mystifying.
"The Fifth Wheel" by Olive Higgins Prouty
In his etymological vagaries, however, he sometimes left his age far behind.
"James Fenimore Cooper" by Thomas R. Lounsbury
But of all the vocal vagaries advanced this has the least foundation in fact.
"The Head Voice and Other Problems" by D. A. Clippinger
When the battle began, it partook of the vagaries of real warfare by opening unexpectedly.
"One Wonderful Night" by Louis Tracy
The vagaries and misfortunes of his brother Dietrich affected his happiness as well as his fortune.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4" by Various
It has no thought of time and it accepts all the vagaries of your laziness.
"Journeys to Bagdad" by Charles S. Brooks
Its third vagary brought it down about his knees.
"The Prairie Chief" by R.M. Ballantyne
Anyhow, I'll be it, before I'll take the responsibility of that Brenton woman's vagaries.
"The Brentons" by Anna Chapin Ray
They treated him with respect, for, outside of what Josiah called his vagaries, Knowles was shrewd and honest.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 103, May, 1866" by Various
That any man should have had such a vagary as this!
"Kept in the Dark" by Anthony Trollope
Cruel as it may seem, I must yet notice another and a peculiar vagary of his malady.
"The Book-Hunter" by John Hill Burton
Mr. Wirgman's mind was somewhat attuned to psychology; but he was cracky and vagarious.
"A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II)" by Augustus De Morgan
YANKEE AMONGST THE MERMAIDS, and other Waggeries and Vagaries.
"Helen and Arthur" by Caroline Lee Hentz
Prince Hal, despite his vagaries, is endowed by the dramatist with far more self-control and common sense.
"A Life of William Shakespeare with portraits and facsimiles" by Sidney Lee
The vagaries of these "lands" that the absent-minded Nehemiah laid off attracted some attention.
"The Moonshiners At Hoho-Hebee Falls" by Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

In poetry:

Full of shift and light vagary,
Thirsting, shrinking from the cup.
Truly, we had best be wary
And not lift the curtain up.
"The Curtain" by Gamaliel Bradford
''Tis then (youth's vain vagaries past,
That please a while, but fash at last)
Serious, our ee we backward cast
On bygane frays,
And, marvelling, mourn the thriftless waste
O' former days!
"The Scottish Muse" by Hector MacNeill

In news:

The Beauties of Prewar Paris Fall Victim to Plot Vagaries.
Yes, it's one of life's vagaries to which we're accustomed.
The intricacies and vagaries of feeling in the relations between people, and mainly between men and women, would be his subject.
When glaring injustices abound, when deserving fighters are robbed of victories thanks to the vagaries of perception and definition, who really cares that the formula for computing points is flawed.
The vagaries of present-day attitudes toward menstruation can be charted by the shifting definition of menstrual distress.
In a world where we've tamed our environment and largely protected ourselves from the vagaries of nature, we may think we're immune to the forces of natural selection .
Some are the results of our bad choices, others are the consequences of bad choices made by others, and others are the result of the vagaries of life.
Editor Nina King ponders the vagaries of becoming a bestseller.
Sony/ATV's Martin Bandier on Acquiring EMI Publishing, Breaking From ' Record Company Vagaries' and Why He Said 'No' to Apple (Q&A).
In New York, even monks face the vagaries of hectic schedules and urban congestion.
Warren Buffett's sidekick sounds off on Wall Street, derivatives, Berkshire Hathaway and the vagaries of human nature.
Obama HQ will not be fixated on the vagaries of nationwide polls.
The vagaries of South Asian summer monsoon rainfall impact the lives of more than one billion people.
Craig Lucas's last play, Prayer for My Enemy, concerned familial tribulations, the vagaries of desire, and the war in Iraq.
As Bees in Honey Drown is a witty satire on the vagaries and temptations of fame in the late '90s, on the apparent necessity of personal reinvention, and on the impossible reconciliation of art and commerce.

In science:

It is a simple matter of reflection to point out some limits to this type of argument: the vagaries of weather, the devastation of earthquakes or the fall of meteorites seem to be fortuitous.
Incompleteness, Complexity, Randomness and Beyond
So we choose to have a background independent theory of gravity simply because we do not want our results to depend upon the vagaries of a background that we happen to choose.
Relationalism vs. Bayesianism
We identify backgrounds if we cannot rationally justify one over the other so that any result we derive does not depend upon the vagaries of one particular background.
Relationalism vs. Bayesianism
We invoke general covariance because we do not want our inferences to depend upon the vagaries of a background spacetime that we happen to choose.
Relationalism vs. Bayesianism
Similarly we invoke Bayesian probability because we do not want our inferences (rather than a demon observer’s) to depend upon the vagaries of a particular average over hidden configurations that we might presume to be the case.
Relationalism vs. Bayesianism
Our group has waxed and waned over the years, dictated by the vagaries of university funding, but with Jon Lawrence’s joining our program managed to wind its way forward, from the Pole to Dome C, then Dome A and now towards Dome F, with even Ridge A now in our sights.
Astronomy in Antarctica
This also makes the fitting less sensitive to small-scale differe nces in positions and densities of debris stars between the models and the actual stream that arise due to the vagaries of the modeling and our incomplete knowledge of the Sgr trailing tail properties.
Kinematics and Chemistry of Stars Along the Sagittarius Trailing Tidal Tail and Constraints on the Milky Way Mass Distribution
So instead, we look to find substructures of diophantine approximation groups which are defined by certain quantitative measures, then describe conditions which allow us to compose such substructures en bloc, rather than according to the vagaries of individual elements.
Real Algebraic Number Theory II. Ideological Arithmetic
Given the vagaries of small-number statistics, these estimates agree with each other, and with circumstantial evidence such as the estimated population of progenitor stars or the neutron-star formation rate.
Physics with Supernovae
The numerical accuracy of this prediction is not overwhelmingly impressive (the computed probability to observe a cosmological term as small as we do is roughly 10%), though this might be laid to the vagaries of sampling a statistical distribution just once.
Enlightenment, Knowledge, Ignorance, Temptation
Gray (l988) first suggested rapid rotation as the cause of various Vegan vagaries.
Astrophysics in 2006
Software distributed as source code may require significant time to compile and prepare given the vagaries of software libraries.
A Systematic Review of Strong Gravitational Lens Modeling Software
If we do choose a particular background then how are we to know whether the odd features (say nonlocality) of our theory are due to that, seemingly arbitrary, choice? We choose to identify these indiscernible backgrounds so that we don’t end up invoking the vagaries of a particular arbitrarily chosen background.
Weak Values and Relational Generalisations
Nor do we end up invoking the vagaries—if there are any—that come about by choosing any particular background (vagaries that are universal to backgrounds).
Weak Values and Relational Generalisations
Cox’s axioms would do to an extent, but by choosing a particular type of assignment one might introduce vagaries particular to those assignments, and we should identify them all because we have no reason to choose one type of assignment over another (they are indiscernibles).
Weak Values and Relational Generalisations