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

1350–1400; Middle English straglen < ?

straggler, noun
stragglingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
straggle (ˈstræɡəl)
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]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

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
There is van support to carry luggage and scoop up any straggling riders.
Bitterly crosses the street to a single-story concrete building half hidden
  under a straggling cloak of ivy.
Northern catalpa, growing in the open, usually has a rather short crooked trunk
  and thick straggling branches.
Straggling ants are scouts randomly searching for food or nesting sites.
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