straggles

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
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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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