- Governed or characterised by caprice: impulsive, unpredictable
(Ref: Merriam-Webster Online, Word of the day, 7 June 2020)
Use it in a sentence
The sea was capricious. There was no telling when she would snatch the already shifting sand from under your feet, sucking water back like a greedy child. Or when she would overwhelm you suddenly, a wave creeping, stealthy, at your back, until it came to crash over you. You were hijacked then, held captive, held down, and only released when she was done with you.
Of course, she could be gentle too, pooling around your feet, tickling your ankles while you enjoyed the warmth of sunshine. You heard her at night sometimes, whispering at your open window, singing in your ear, sweet, seductive. She could draw you in with her siren voice, and you would sway towards her, forgiving and forgiven, comforted in the cold darkness of night. She was ancient, all consuming, powerful and vulnerable. You looked on her then with fondness, with terror.
That talent for capriciousness is what you fear the most. It’s what makes you shiver when you remember that morning your husband and child pushed off the shore in a little tin boat, rods and bait ready, and never came back. The sea is no friend of yours.