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stray

[strey] /streɪ/
verb (used without object)
1.
to deviate from the direct course, leave the proper place, or go beyond the proper limits, especially without a fixed course or purpose; ramble:
to stray from the main road.
2.
to wander; roam:
The new puppy strayed from room to room.
3.
to go astray; deviate, as from a moral, religious, or philosophical course:
to stray from the teachings of the church.
4.
to digress or become distracted.
noun
5.
a domestic animal found wandering at large or without an owner.
6.
any homeless or friendless person or animal.
7.
a person or animal that strays:
the strays of a flock.
8.
strays, Radio. static.
adjective
9.
straying or having strayed, as a domestic animal.
10.
found or occurring apart from others or as an isolated or casual instance; incidental or occasional.
11.
Radio. undesired:
stray capacitance.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; (v.) Middle English strayen, aphetic variant of astraien, estraien < Middle French estraier < Vulgar Latin *extrāvagāre to wander out of bounds (see extravagant); (noun) Middle English, in part derivative of the v., in part < Anglo-French stray, Middle French estrai, derivative of estraier
Related forms
strayer, noun
unstraying, adjective
Synonyms
1. rove, range. 2. meander. 3. err.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for strayed
  • Old instincts kicked in when a small antelope strayed into the older pair's enclosure and they pounced.
  • And to protect its cash cow, the company has strayed more than once from the path of environmental virtue.
  • These plants never strayed too far from the city center, so development grew densely.
  • With each book, we've strayed slightly farther into territory increasingly exotic-one might even say alien.
  • Those who strayed too close were known to disappear.
  • The fact that it has strayed from the original idea doesn't bother me greatly.
  • For the majority, this kind of project could not have strayed further from their original political concerns.
  • Subsequent steps have strayed further from tradition.
  • In mere time he was a lost soul that had strayed by chance to the twentieth century, and forgotten where it came from.
  • At present, you seem in everything to have strayed out of the high road of nature.
British Dictionary definitions for strayed

stray

/streɪ/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to wander away, as from the correct path or from a given area
2.
to wander haphazardly
3.
to digress from the point, lose concentration, etc
4.
to deviate from certain moral standards
noun
5.
  1. a domestic animal, fowl, etc, that has wandered away from its place of keeping and is lost
  2. (as modifier): stray dogs
6.
a lost or homeless person, esp a child: waifs and strays
7.
an isolated or random occurrence, specimen, etc, that is out of place or outside the usual pattern
adjective
8.
scattered, random, or haphazard: a stray bullet grazed his thigh
Derived Forms
strayer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French estraier, from Vulgar Latin estragāre (unattested), from Latin extrā- outside + vagāri to roam; see astray, extravagant, stravaig
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 strayed

stray

v.

c.1300, a shortening of Old French estraier "wander about," literally "go about the streets," from estree "route, highway," from Late Latin via strata "paved road" (see street). On another theory, the Old French word is from Vulgar Latin *estragare, a contraction of *estravagare, representing Latin extra vagari "to wander outside" (see extravagant). Figurative sense of "to wander from the path of rectitude" is attested from early 14c.

n.

"domestic animal found wandering," early 13c., from Old French estraié "strayed," past participle of estraier (see stray (v.)). The adjective is first recorded c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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