vaga-, vag-, vago-

(Latin: wander, move around; unsettled, wandering [nerve])

vagrant (adjective), more vagrant, most vagrant
1. Descriptive of someone who wanders from place to place and lacks any means of financial resources: The part of the city which evidently attracted vagrant activity of very poor people was on the other side of the river.
2. A reference to being wayward or unrestrained in what one does or thinks: Allison’s vagrant behavior upset her parents very much; so, she went to her bedroom and locked the door so they couldn't get in and bother her!
Descriptive of wandering or not having a fixed course or aim.
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vague (adjective); vaguer, more vague; vaguest, most vague
1. Not clear in meaning or intention: The travel agent made a vague schedule for Bill's tour of Canada.

When the man was asked what happened, he could only respond with the vaguest answers that didn't clarify the situation.

2. Not having a clear or perceptible form: Steve could only see the vaguest form in the shadows of the forest.

While Tamika and Helena were walking on the mountain trail, they only had a vague idea as to where they were.

When Hans and Darla asked their son what he wanted to do after high school, he was more vague about his plans for the future than before.

While driving in the sudden rainstorm, Eugenia was scarcely able to see the vague figures of the cars in front of her.

3. Not clearly felt, understood, or recalled: Jim's mother only had a vague recollection of what happened when she fell down.

Dena's grandfather only had vague memories about his life during the last ten years.

After Mildred started her new job, she had a vague feeling that it was not the kind of work that she wanted to do.

4. Unclear or incoherent in thinking or expression: Mr. Smith, the investigating officer, had a vague impression that the suspect was withholding significant information.
5. Etymology: from Middle French vague, from Latin vagus, "wandering, rambling, vacillating".
vagueness (s) (noun), vaguenesses (pl)
1. Lacking definiteness or precision, or not easily understood: It appeared the vagueness of the policy options in Mayor Hillman's speech was deliberate.
2. A communication pattern involving the use of loose associations that lead to ambiguity and confusion in communication: President Black spoke in what appeared to be a deliberate pattern of vagueness which was short of reality.
3. The phenomenon that the meaning of an expression is not exactly determined, as a result of the impreciseness of the language that is used: In "John is tall", the meaning of the adjective "tall" shows vagueness, or is unclear, in the sense that the precise degree of tallness is not specific.

Vagueness should not to be confused with "ambiguity" (an unclear or a double meaning), even though the two are not always clearly distinguishable by some speakers or writers.

vagulate (verb), vagulates; vagulated; vagulating
To struggle, to waver, or to be clumsy and stumbling: The man was vagulating in the park in an abnormal manner because of the recent loss of his wife who died of cancer.
vagus (s) (noun), vagi (pl)
Either of a pair of nerves that extend from the brain to the heart, lungs, stomach, and other organs of the body: The vagi consist of mixed nerves that have motor and sensory functions and a wider distribution than any of the other cranial nerves.

As students of neural anatomy, the class attended a lecture about the vagi which involved their normal and abnormal functions.

vagus nerve (s) (noun), vagus nerves (pl)
A nerve that supplies nerve fibers to the pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), trachea (windpipe), lungs, heart, esophagus (passage from the mouth to the stomach), and the intestinal tract; as far as the transverse part of the colon: The vagus nerve emerges from the medulla oblongata (part of the brain stem) and it is classified as a cranial nerve because it comes from that brain stem.

The vagus nerve transmits sensory information back to the brain from major organs in the body; including the ears, the tongue, the pharynx, the larynx, and much of the digestive system.

A complete interruption of the vagus nerve causes a condition in which the voice is hoarse and nasal, and the vocal cord on the affected side is immobile; resulting in difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia) and speaking (dysphonia).

The vagus nerve also stimulates the production of stomach acid and pancreatic juice; stimulates the activity of the gallbladder, and increases the rhythmic muscular contractions that move food through the digestive tract.

vagus pulse, vagus-pulse (s) (noun); vagus pulses, vagus-pulses (pl)
A decreased heart rate caused by the slowing action of stimuli from the vagus nerve: Jane, the nurse, checked Larry's pulse and was able to identify the vagus pulse which was causing the slow rhythmic dilation of the artery in his wrist.