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[rohm] /roʊm/
verb (used without object)
to walk, go, or travel without a fixed purpose or direction; ramble; wander; rove:
to roam about the world.
verb (used with object)
to wander over or through:
to roam the countryside.
an act or instance of roaming; a ramble.
Origin of roam
1300-50; Middle English romen < ?
Related forms
roamer, noun
unroaming, adjective
1. stray, stroll, prowl. Roam, ramble, range, rove imply wandering about over (usually) a considerable amount of territory. Roam implies a wandering or traveling over a large area, especially as prompted by restlessness or curiosity: to roam through a forest. Ramble implies pleasant, carefree moving about, walking with no specific purpose and for a limited distance: to ramble through fields near home. Range usually implies wandering over a more or less defined but extensive area in search of something: Cattle range over the plains. Rove sometimes implies wandering with specific incentive or aim, as an animal for prey: Bandits rove through these mountains. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for roaming
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And the weather being what it was, he felt an overwhelming desire to spend the day roaming in the forest of Compigne.

    Swann's Way Marcel Proust
  • He spoke exactly as if he had been a collector who had been roaming the world for curios.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • Instead of roaming over the woods, I went the next morning to my grandmother.

    The Infant's Skull Eugne Sue
  • They might have been roaming the world in all directions, without my seeing one of them.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • I thought that she was roaming about the house, and I gave orders to look for her.

British Dictionary definitions for roaming


to travel or walk about with no fixed purpose or direction; wander
the act of roaming
Derived Forms
roamer, noun
Word Origin
C13: origin unknown
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 roaming



c.1300, romen, possibly from Old English *ramian "act of wandering about," which is probably related to aræman "arise, lift up." There are no certain cognate forms in other Germanic languages, but Barnhart points to Old Norse reimuðr "act of wandering about," reimast "to haunt." "Except in late puns, there is no evidence of connexion with the Romance words denoting pilgrims or pilgrimages to Rome ...." [OED], such as Spanish romero "a pilot-fish; a pilgrim;" Old French romier "travelling as a pilgrim; a pilgrim," from Medieval Latin romerius "a pilgrim" (originally to Rome). Related: Roamed; roamer; roaming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for roaming



To use a cellular phone outside of one's own service area: Hi honey. I'm roaming in San Francisco (1990s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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