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vagrant

[vey-gruh nt] /ˈveɪ grənt/
noun
1.
a person who wanders about idly and has no permanent home or employment; vagabond; tramp.
2.
Law. an idle person without visible means of support, as a tramp or beggar.
3.
a person who wanders from place to place; wanderer; rover.
4.
wandering idly without a permanent home or employment; living in vagabondage:
vagrant beggars.
5.
of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a vagrant:
the vagrant life.
adjective
6.
wandering or roaming from place to place; nomadic.
7.
(of plants) straggling in growth.
8.
not fixed or settled, especially in course; moving hither and thither:
a vagrant leaf blown by the wind.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English vagaraunt, apparently present participle of Anglo-French *vagrer, perhaps < Middle English *vagren, blend of vagen (< Latin vagārī to wander) and *walcren (> Old French wa(u)crer), equivalent to walc- (see walk) + -r- frequentative suffix + -en infinitive suffix
Related forms
vagrantly, adverb
vagrantness, noun
nonvagrant, adjective
nonvagrantly, adverb
nonvagrantness, noun
unvagrant, adjective
unvagrantly, adverb
unvagrantness, noun
Synonyms
1. Vagrant, vagabond describe an idle, disreputable person who lacks a fixed abode. Vagrant suggests a tramp, a person with no settled abode or livelihood, an idle and disorderly person: picked up by police as a vagrant. Vagabond especially emphasizes the idea of worthless living, often by trickery, thieving, or other disreputable means: Actors were once classed with rogues and vagabonds.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for vagrant
  • While pleading on almost every page for the rights of the poor, he has no sentimental pity for the idle vagrant.
  • vagrant: birds are found casually north of mapped range.
  • vagrant: casual to the east, particularly in fall and winter.
  • They are astonishing, those eyes: pale and opalescent, with vagrant beams of light glancing from the corneas.
  • But he's far from a thief or a vagrant, in the usual meanings of those words.
  • Another, a vagrant sea-captain, is darkly tempestuous and dour.
  • In the end, after certain vagrant incidents, they are reconciled-but don't ask us why.
  • That's all there is: vagrant viciousness and coincidence.
  • And the unctuousness of its expression will take care of a lot of vagrant hopes.
  • If you can't guess that the answer is zero, proceed directly to the nearest park bench and begin your career as a vagrant.
British Dictionary definitions for vagrant

vagrant

/ˈveɪɡrənt/
noun
1.
a person of no settled abode, income, or job; tramp
2.
a migratory animal that is off course
adjective
3.
wandering about; nomadic
4.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a vagrant or vagabond
5.
moving in an erratic fashion, without aim or purpose; wayward
6.
(of plants) showing uncontrolled or straggling growth
Archaic equivalent vagrom (ˈveɪɡrəm)
Derived Forms
vagrantly, adverb
vagrantness, noun
Word Origin
C15: probably from Old French waucrant (from wancrer to roam, of Germanic origin), but also influenced by Old French vagant vagabond, from Latin vagārī to wander
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 vagrant
n.

mid-15c., perhaps an alteration (by influence of Latin vagari "wander") of Anglo-French wacrant, noun use of present participle of Old French wacrer "to walk or wander," from a Germanic source (e.g. Old Norse valka "wander"). The adjective is recorded from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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