Meaning of STRAY in English


/ streɪ; NAmE / verb , adjective , noun

■ verb [ v ]


[usually + adv. / prep. ] to move away from the place where you should be, without intending to :

He strayed into the path of an oncoming car.

Her eyes kept straying over to the clock on the wall.


[usually + adv. / prep. ] to begin to think about or discuss a different subject from the one you should be thinking about or discussing :

My mind kept straying back to our last talk together.

We seem to be straying from the main theme of the debate.


( of a person who is married or in a relationship ) to have a sexual relationship with sb who is not your usual partner

■ adjective [ only before noun ]


( of animals normally kept as pets ) away from home and lost; having no home :

stray dogs


separated from other things or people of the same kind :

A civilian was killed by a stray bullet .

a few stray hairs

■ noun


an animal that has got lost or separated from its owner or that has no owner

—see also waif


a person or thing that is not in the right place or is separated from others of the same kind



Middle English : shortening of Anglo-Norman French and Old French estrayer (verb), Anglo-Norman French strey (noun), partly from astray .

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.