itin·​er·​ant | \ ī-ˈti-nə-rənt How to pronounce itinerant (audio) \

Definition of itinerant

: traveling from place to place especially : covering a circuit itinerant preacher

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Other Words from itinerant

itinerant noun
itinerantly adverb

Did You Know?

In Latin, iter means "way" or "journey." That root was the parent of the Late Latin verb itinerari, meaning "to journey." It was that verb which ultimately gave rise to today's English word for traveling types: "itinerant." The linguistic grandsire, "iter," also contributed to the development of other words in our vocabulary, including "itinerary" ("the route of a journey" and "the plan made for a journey") and "errant" ("traveling or given to traveling").

Examples of itinerant in a Sentence

an itinerant musician can see a lot of the world
Recent Examples on the Web Fern rebuilds an itinerant life from the ashes of that loss and the death of her husband. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Nomadland Explores Survival on the Road After the Great Recession," 20 Feb. 2021 There’s a major beet harvest in North Dakota that employs a number of older itinerant workers, but the crew couldn’t get access to it. Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, "Tracking Nomadland’s Path Across the American West," 19 Feb. 2021 The military moved him every three years or so, an itinerant life that mirrored his upbringing as a preacher’s son. New York Times, "In a Widening News Desert on the Border, a Tabloid Start-Up Defies the Odds," 1 Jan. 2021 As Fern traverses the infrastructure of itinerant America, the cast of actors and non-actors combine sentimentality and realism, pioneer conviction and political pathos. Armond White, National Review, "Nomadland Transforms America into Alienation Nation," 15 Jan. 2021 Starkel knows something about an itinerant life, not only because of his three-college odyssey. Steve Kroner,, "Well-traveled QB Nick Starkel at home with unbeaten, bowl-bound San Jose State," 29 Dec. 2020 Northwest takes the form of a felicitous friendship between itinerant baker Cookie and Chinese immigrant King-Lu. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, "‘First Cow’ ‘gives the loneliest of us hope,’ say the film’s stars," 6 Jan. 2021 The Notre Dame choir used to give 60 concerts a year inside the cathedral but has been itinerant ever since, moving among other Paris churches. Fox News, "Christmas Eve concert held in Paris' fire-wrecked Notre Dame," 24 Dec. 2020 Filmed in Nebraska, the drama follows a former school teacher (played by Frances McDormand) who becomes a gig-economy itinerant worker after her factory town literally shuts down during a recession. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, "What do ‘Elegy’ and ‘Nomadland’ say about Hollywood’s view of rural life?," 16 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'itinerant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of itinerant

circa 1576, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for itinerant

Late Latin itinerant-, itinerans, present participle of itinerari to journey, from Latin itiner-, iter journey, way; akin to Hittite itar way, Latin ire to go — more at issue entry 1

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Time Traveler for itinerant

Time Traveler

The first known use of itinerant was circa 1576

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Statistics for itinerant

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Itinerant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for itinerant



English Language Learners Definition of itinerant

: traveling from place to place : staying in a place for only a short amount of time


itin·​er·​ant | \ ī-ˈti-nə-rənt How to pronounce itinerant (audio) \

Kids Definition of itinerant

: traveling from place to place

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Comments on itinerant

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