straggle

[strag-uhl]
verb (used without object), straggled, straggling.
1.
to stray from the road, course, or line of march.
2.
to wander about in a scattered fashion; ramble.
3.
to spread or be spread in a scattered fashion or at irregular intervals: The trees straggle over the countryside.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English straglen < ?

straggler, noun
stragglingly, adverb
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
straggle (ˈstræɡəl)
 
vb
1.  to go, come, or spread in a rambling or irregular way; stray
2.  to linger behind or wander from a main line or part
 
[C14: of uncertain origin; perhaps related to strake and stretch]
 
'straggler
 
n
 
'straggling
 
adj
 
'stragglingly
 
adv
 
'straggly
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

straggle
c.1400, "to wander from the proper path, to rove from one's companions," perhaps from a Scand. source (cf. dialectal Norw. stragla "to walk laboriously"), or a frequentative of straken "to move, go." Specifically of soldiers from 1529.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Therefore, the understanding of our language is with them, when they straggle to speak.
As the members of the publicity team straggle into her office and exchange friendly greetings, she sighs.
In which favorites were defeated and a short straggle among tha younger trotters, marked the fifth day of th breeders' meeting.
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