Why was clemency trending last week?


[strey] /streɪ/
verb (used without object)
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.
to wander; roam:
The new puppy strayed from room to room.
to go astray; deviate, as from a moral, religious, or philosophical course:
to stray from the teachings of the church.
to digress or become distracted.
a domestic animal found wandering at large or without an owner.
any homeless or friendless person or animal.
a person or animal that strays:
the strays of a flock.
strays, Radio. static.
straying or having strayed, as a domestic animal.
found or occurring apart from others or as an isolated or casual instance; incidental or occasional.
Radio. undesired:
stray capacitance.
Origin of stray
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
1. rove, range. 2. meander. 3. err. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for straying
  • Even arguments for academic freedom, he said, risk straying into illogical territory.
  • The mob said he was straying away from the mission of the founders of the school.
  • So, when you superimpose them on top of each other, they have to make a lattice mismatch and that causes straying.
  • Yet the moons' gravity helps maintain the rings by keeping the particles from straying from their orbits.
  • Benjamin, who remained closer to home, ended up straying much farther from his early academic path.
  • From line to line the dialogue slips from one gear to another while never straying from a pitch of extreme emotional tension.
  • It's conceivable that straying might be controlled by releasing enough animals inside the park to form stable social structures.
  • There is definitely a straying from the scientific going on in this thread, and perhaps rightly so.
  • The time straying toward infidelity and confections and persiflage he withholds by steady faith.
  • straying from partisan principles only hurts you in the primaries.
British Dictionary definitions for straying


verb (intransitive)
to wander away, as from the correct path or from a given area
to wander haphazardly
to digress from the point, lose concentration, etc
to deviate from certain moral standards
  1. a domestic animal, fowl, etc, that has wandered away from its place of keeping and is lost
  2. (as modifier): stray dogs
a lost or homeless person, esp a child: waifs and strays
an isolated or random occurrence, specimen, etc, that is out of place or outside the usual pattern
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
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Word Origin and History for straying



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.


"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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