Meaning of STRAY in English


I. ˈstrā noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French estraié, past participle of estraier

Date: 13th century


a. : a domestic animal that is wandering at large or is lost

b. : a person or thing that strays


[Middle English, from straien to stray]

archaic : the act of going astray

II. intransitive verb

Etymology: Middle English straien, from Anglo-French estraier, from Vulgar Latin * extravagare, from Latin extra- outside + vagari to wander — more at extra-

Date: 14th century

: wander : as

a. : to wander from company, restraint, or proper limits

b. : to roam about without fixed direction or purpose

c. : to move in a winding course : meander

d. : to move without conscious or intentional effort

eyes stray ing absently around the room

e. : to become distracted from an argument or chain of thought

stray ed from the point

f. : to wander accidentally from a fixed or chosen route

g. : err , sin

• stray·er noun

III. adjective

Date: 1589

1. : having strayed or escaped from a proper or intended place

a stray dog

hit by a stray bullet

fixed a few stray hairs

2. : occurring at random or sporadically

a few stray thoughts

3. : not serving any useful purpose : unwanted

stray light

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.