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Steve’s girlfriend Adrienne changed her opinions and choices every moment of the day in a capricious and unpredictable way. Such capricious and shifting expressions of thought confused Steve, so he was never exactly sure what Adrienne wanted to do. Her inconstant, sudden, and capricious moods were also harmful to Steve’s peace of mind . . . and ultimately to their relationship.

Quiz: When is someone being capricious?

  • When that person changes his or her mind or actions unexpectedly.
  • When that person does not communicate his or her feelings well.
  • When that person dates casually, going from partner to partner.

Memory Hook

Rice Precious or Cheap? Markets are very capricious, seeming to rise and fall at a moment's notice; rice could be precious today, cheap tomorrow, so its price is capricious.


  • There is nothing capricious in nature and the implanting of a desire indicates that its gratification is in the constitution of the creature that feel it. — Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph waldo emerson
  • Belgians like to say that due to the capricious influence of the North Sea they experience 'all four seasons every day, from snow to rain to sun.' —Rolling Stone
  • Kelly Clarkson’s audition wasn’t aired during the Season 1 tour, proving that the fates can be capricious to the producers' attempts to construct an orderly narrative out of this vast, sweeping process. —Los Angeles Times
  • The Brazilian formula is to crowd out enterprise or drive it underground with excessive spending and taxation, then to harass it further with capricious, nonsensical regulation. —The Economist

Word Ingredients

capr goat
-ious of the nature of

Someone who acts capriciously is as unpredictable as the direction in which a goat may leap.

Word Theater

Cosmos The capricious gods of yore were rather unpredictable.

Word Constellation


Word Variants

caprice n a sudden change in behavior or of mind