follow Dictionary.com

What's the "een" in Halloween?

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.
Cite This Source
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

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for straying

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for stray

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for straying

12
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with straying