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[ih-strey] /ɪˈstreɪ/
a person or animal that has strayed.
Law. a domestic animal, as a horse or a sheep, found wandering or without an owner.
verb (used without object)
Archaic. to stray.
Origin of estray
1250-1300; Middle English astrai < Anglo-French estray, derivative of Old French estraier to stray Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for estray
Historical Examples
  • Supposing him to have belonged to the old Count's stud of foreign horses, we led him back as an estray.

  • That would mean, that a lost horse had been killed or an estray steer.

    The Sleuth of St. James's Square Melville Davisson Post
  • She desired to convert some one, to recover some estray, to reform some wretch.

  • A man can always recognize his estray, and when she is recognized she will come to heel.

    The Branding Iron Katharine Newlin Burt
  • Fred Godfrey was almost in sight of his home, when he was both pleased and alarmed by coming upon an estray horse.

    Wyoming Edward Sylvester Ellis
  • And a health to the one away, Who drifts down careless Italy, God's wanderer and estray!

    Songs from Vagabondia Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey
  • Had it not been taken in tow by the runabout, it could not have remained an estray much longer.

  • If she really was an estray, she had missed two milkings—that of the previous night and the morning that succeeded.

    The Hunters of the Ozark Edward S. Ellis
  • A rescue party had come in search of the estray, and they were soon brought with rejoicing home.

    French Classics William Cleaver Wilkinson
  • The canoe was soon made fast, and then they18 resumed their hunt for the estray.

    The Hunters of the Ozark Edward S. Ellis
British Dictionary definitions for estray


(law) a stray domestic animal of unknown ownership
Word Origin
C16: from Anglo-French, from Old French estraier to stray
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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