From Latin vagus (wandering) +‎ -ist


vagarist (plural vagarists)

  1. One whose thought wanders in many directions.
    • 1823, The Angel of Mercy: A Little Book of Affection, page 82:
      The men who call themselves philosophers, may look with pride upon their speculations; but true philosophy is nothing more than the art of being happy; and a woman contented to cull the flowers of the moment, in the modest vale of female enjoyments, has more true philosophy than the vagarist, who loses his way to bliss in wandering through the clouds, or who, madman like, hazards life, happiness, every thing, for a bubble, or for a name.
    • 1893, John W. Greene, Camp Ford Prison, and how I Escaped, page 7:
      In journeying through the fine land of memory one is apt to become a most unconscionable vagarist, for that curious faculty of the mind, which often seems dead but only slumbers, when once set in motion travels far and refuses to recall one scene or incident without recalling also a hundred others which preceded or followed it.
    • 1899, Arthur T. Pierson -, The Miracles of Missions, page 51:
      It seemed to be the wild fancy of a vagarist or dreamer.
    • 1975, Benjamin Browne Foster, Down East Diary, page 210:
      This frame of mind is not common and perhaps not desirable and thence have the opinions popularly obtained that he is an unsubstantial, sentimental vagarist and mystic.
    • 1997, Earl J. Hess, The Union Soldier in Battle: Enduring the Ordeal of Combat, page 183:
      Greene believed that an old soldier became a "most unconscionable vagarist" whenever he tried to remember anything.