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vagrant

[vey-gruh nt] /ˈveɪ grənt/
noun
1.
a person who wanders about idly and has no permanent home or employment; vagabond; tramp.
2.
Law. an idle person without visible means of support, as a tramp or beggar.
3.
a person who wanders from place to place; wanderer; rover.
4.
wandering idly without a permanent home or employment; living in vagabondage:
vagrant beggars.
5.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a vagrant:
the vagrant life.
adjective
6.
wandering or roaming from place to place; nomadic.
7.
(of plants) straggling in growth.
8.
not fixed or settled, especially in course; moving hither and thither:
a vagrant leaf blown by the wind.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English vagaraunt, apparently present participle of Anglo-French *vagrer, perhaps < Middle English *vagren, blend of vagen (< Latin vagārī to wander) and *walcren (> Old French wa(u)crer), equivalent to walc- (see walk) + -r- frequentative suffix + -en infinitive suffix
Related forms
vagrantly, adverb
vagrantness, noun
nonvagrant, adjective
nonvagrantly, adverb
nonvagrantness, noun
unvagrant, adjective
unvagrantly, adverb
unvagrantness, noun
Synonyms
1. Vagrant, vagabond describe an idle, disreputable person who lacks a fixed abode. Vagrant suggests a tramp, a person with no settled abode or livelihood, an idle and disorderly person: picked up by police as a vagrant. Vagabond especially emphasizes the idea of worthless living, often by trickery, thieving, or other disreputable means: Actors were once classed with rogues and vagabonds.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for vagrants
  • So it was jarring recently when some commanders got e-mails from the boss with photos of vagrants taken by his personal staff.
  • The vast majority of our recorded bird species are migrants and vagrants.
  • Sometimes vagrants can gain access and burn it down while trying to stay warm in winter months.
  • Each was vacant, but some were unsecured and had vagrants living in them.
  • He found it growing along the railroad tracks, but only around campgrounds used by vagrants and other transients.
  • Many of the inmates are members of criminal organizations, substance abusers or vagrants.
  • Buildings are vacated and become homes to vagrants and drug users.
  • Bands of vagrants, encouraged by unscrupulous itinerant traders, flouted the treaties and the counsel of headmen.
  • Two vagrants were found by police suffering from severe exposure.
British Dictionary definitions for vagrants

vagrant

/ˈveɪɡrənt/
noun
1.
a person of no settled abode, income, or job; tramp
2.
a migratory animal that is off course
adjective
3.
wandering about; nomadic
4.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a vagrant or vagabond
5.
moving in an erratic fashion, without aim or purpose; wayward
6.
(of plants) showing uncontrolled or straggling growth
Archaic equivalent vagrom (ˈveɪɡrəm)
Derived Forms
vagrantly, adverb
vagrantness, noun
Word Origin
C15: probably from Old French waucrant (from wancrer to roam, of Germanic origin), but also influenced by Old French vagant vagabond, from Latin vagārī to wander
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for vagrants

vagrant

n.

mid-15c., perhaps an alteration (by influence of Latin vagari "wander") of Anglo-French wacrant, noun use of present participle of Old French wacrer "to walk or wander," from a Germanic source (e.g. Old Norse valka "wander"). The adjective is recorded from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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