caprice


caprice
caprice, freak, fancy, whim, whimsy, conceit, vagary, crotchet are comparable when denoting an arbitrary notion that usually lacks a logical basis and therefore may be unsound, impractical, or even irrational.
Caprice emphasizes the lack of apparent motivation and implies a certain willfulness or wantonness
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they . . . without reason or judgment, beyond the caprice of their good pleasure, threw down the image from its pedestal— Byron

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my cousin's pet caprice is to affect a distaste for art, to which she is passionately devoted— Shaw

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Freak suggests an impulsive, seemingly causeless change of mind, like that of a child or a lunatic
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a light word flung in the air, a mere freak of perverse child's temper— Thackeray

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follow this way or that, as the freak takes you— Stevenson

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Fancy stresses casualness and lack of reflection in forming an idea and may sometimes suggest a kind of harmless perverseness in the idea formed
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coddle ourselves into the fancy that our own [life] is of exceptional importance— Stevenson

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consoled myself with fancies of doing good—curing sick friends by an occult exploration plus pure willpower— Gold

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Whim and whimsy suggest not so much a sudden as a quaint, fantastic, or humorous turn or inclination, but whim often stresses capriciousness, and whimsy fancifulness
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a young lady of some birth and fortune . . . who had strange whims of fasting—George Eliot

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Mr. Wilder is unconcerned with fads, with whims of the moment; he is attempting to write permanently about permanent things— Fadiman

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Augustus was as free as any man who ever lived from whimsies about his own divinity— Buchan

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now and again a whimsy seized my master and he declared that we must work and earn our daily bread by the sweat of our brows— W. J. Locke

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Conceit suggests more strongly than whim or whimsy the quaint, fantastic, or erratic character of the notion formed and also may suggest the firmness and persistence with which it is held
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it is one of Freud's quaint conceits that the child in its mother's womb is the happiest of living creatures— Krutch

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fortified him in the conceit that in dealing perfect justice to his son he was doing all that was possible— Meredith

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Vagary suggests still more strongly the erratic, extravagant, or irresponsible character of the notion or fancy
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straight they changed their minds, flew off, and into strange vagaries fell— Milton

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a great force of critical opinion controlling a learned man's vagaries, and keeping him straight— Arnold

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Crotchet implies even more perversity of temper or more indifference to right reason than vagary; it often is applied to a capriciously heretical opinion on some frequently unimportant or trivial point
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the impracticable crotchets you are fond of airing are not recognized in England as sane political convictions— Shaw

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this political view may now seem to have been the crotchet of a particular set of historical scholars— Dewey

}
Analogous words: humor, *mood, temper, vein: notion, *idea: impulse (see MOTIVE): irrationality, unreasonableness (see corresponding adjectives at IRRATIONAL): perverseness, contrariness (see corresponding adjectives at CONTRARY)
Contrasted words: intent, purpose, *intention, design: project, scheme, *plan: deciding or decision, determining or determination, resolving or resolution (see corresponding verbs at DECIDE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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