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errant

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adjective er·rant \ˈer-ənt, ˈe-rənt\

Simple Definition of errant

  • : behaving wrongly

  • : going outside the proper area

  • sports : not going in the intended direction : not accurate

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of errant

  1. 1 :  traveling or given to traveling <an errant knight>

  2. 2 a :  straying outside the proper path or bounds <an errant calf> b :  moving about aimlessly or irregularly <an errant breeze> c :  behaving wrongly <an errant child> d :  fallible

errant noun
errantly adverb

Examples of errant in a sentence

  1. <what he considers to be no more than errant conduct toward women would be regarded as sexual harassment by most people>

  2. <the errant gunslinger as a standard character in western novels>



Did You Know?

Errant has a split history. It comes from Anglo-French, a language in which two confusingly similar verbs with identical spellings ("errer") coexisted. One errer meant "to err" and comes from the Latin errare, meaning "to wander" or "to err." The second errer meant "to travel," and traces to the Latin iter, meaning "road" or "journey." Both "errer" homographs contributed to the development of "errant," which not surprisingly has to do with both moving about and being mistaken. A "knight-errant" travels around in search of adventures. Cowboys round up "errant calves." An "errant child" is one who misbehaves. (You might also see "arrant" occasionally - it's a word that originated as an alteration of "errant" and that usually means "extreme" or "shameless.")

Origin of errant

Middle English erraunt, from Anglo-French errant, present participle of errer to err & errer to travel, from Late Latin iterare, from Latin iter road, journey — more at itinerant


First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with errant


ERRANT Defined for Kids

errant

play
adjective er·rant \ˈer-ənt\

Definition of errant for Students

  1. 1 :  wandering in search of adventure <an errant knight>

  2. 2 :  straying from a proper course <an errant golf ball>





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