c.1300, aphetic of O.Fr. estraier
"wander about," lit. "go about the streets," from estree
"route, highway," from L.L. via strata
"paved road" (see street
). On another theory, the O.Fr. is from V.L. *estragare
, a contraction of *estravagare
, representing L. extra vagari
"to wander outside" (see extravagant
). Fig. sense of "to wander from the path of rectitude" is attested from early 14c. The noun meaning "domestic animal found wandering" is earlier (early 13c.), from O.Fr. estraié
"strayed," pp. of estraier.
The adj. is first recorded c.1600.