- Now Rare a wandering in thought or talk; digression
- a wandering from place to place; vagabondage
- shiftless or idle wandering without money or work, as of tramps, beggars, etc.: often a statutory offense chargeable as a misdemeanor
Origin of vagrancyfrom vagrant
- a. The state of being a vagrant.b. The conduct or mode of existence of a vagrant.c. The offense of being a vagrant: arrested for vagrancy.
- An erratic notion or unpredictable action: the vagrancies of the heart.
- An unpredictable development or change of circumstances: the vagrancies of the book business.
(countable and uncountable, plural vagrancies)
- the state of being a vagrant
vagrancy - Legal Definition
A vague, poorly delineated set of minor offenses (dating from the downfall of feudalism in England, when there was an acute shortage of laborers), such as being in a condition of unemployment, wandering from place to place with no apparent purpose, and having no visible means of support. More recently, the police have utilized vagrancy statutes for arresting persons thought to have committed a crime, when lack of probable cause for the person’s arrest is lacking. Vagrancy statutes have not been well received by the courts, due to their abuse, and have often been declared unconstitutional due to their vagueness, and their ignoring of due process.