noun \ˈstrā\

: an animal (such as a cat or dog) that is lost or has no home

: a person or thing that is separated from a group

Full Definition of STRAY

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

Examples of STRAY

  1. Both of her cats were strays that she found wandering in the neighborhood.

Origin of STRAY

Middle English, from Anglo-French estraié, past participle of estraier
First Known Use: 13th century

Other Animal Husbandry Terms

apiary, bantam, calico, girth, hogwash, mast, rut


intransitive verb

: to go in a direction that is away from a group or from the place where you should be

Full Definition of STRAY

:  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 straying absently around the room>
e :  to become distracted from an argument or train of thought <strayed from the point>
f :  to wander accidentally from a fixed or chosen route
g :  err, sin
stray·er noun

Examples of STRAY

  1. The airplane strayed off course.
  2. <our straying son swears he's returned to the straight and narrow>

Origin of STRAY

Middle English straien, from Anglo-French estraier, from Vulgar Latin *extravagare, from Latin extra- outside + vagari to wander — more at extra-
First Known Use: 14th century



of an animal : lost or having no home

: separated from another or others of the same kind

: not in or going in the proper or intended place

Full Definition of STRAY

:  having strayed or escaped from a proper or intended place <a stray dog>
:  occurring at random or sporadically <stray thoughts>
:  not serving any useful purpose :  unwanted <stray light>

Examples of STRAY

  1. <stray sightings of UFO's, none of which have been rigorously analyzed by scientists>

First Known Use of STRAY



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