Definition for STRAY

STRAY, v.i. [The elements of this word are not certainly known. If they are Strg, the word coincides with Sax. strægan, stregan, to scatter, to spread, the L. stravi, Eng. to strow, strew or straw, also with G. streicben, to wander, to strike; both probably from the root of reach, stretch. Possibly stray is from the It. straviare, from L. extra and via. I am inclined however to refer it to a Teutonic origin, See Straggle.]

  1. To wander, as from a direct course; to deviate or go out of the way. We say, to stray from the path or road into the forest or wood.
  2. To wander from company, or from the proper limits; as, a sheep strays from the flock; a horse strays from an inclosure.
  3. To rove; to wander from the path of duty or rectitude; to err; to deviate. We have erred and strayed. – Com. Prayer.
  4. To wander; to rove at large; to play free and unconfined. Lo, the glad gales o'er an her beauties stray, / Breathe on her lips and in her bosom play. – Pope.
  5. To wander; to run a serpentine course. Where Thames among the wanton valley strays. – Denham.

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