Definition of peregrine
: having a tendency to wander
peregrine was our Word of the Day on 07/03/2008. Hear the podcast!
Examples of peregrine in a sentence
a loyal cadre of peregrine workers who follow the presidential candidate from primary to primary
Did You Know?
The current meaning of "peregrine" has wandered a bit from its earlier meanings. The word originally meant "foreign," as did its Latin predecessor peregrinus. But even before "peregrine" appeared on its own in English, it was part of the name of that well-known bird of prey, the peregrine falcon. The bird's appellation derives from "falco peregrinus" - literally, "pilgrim falcon" in Medieval Latin. Peregrine falcons typically nest in high places, such as on cliff ledges or, in modern times, city skyscrapers. Because of the nests' inaccessibility, medieval falconers who wanted young peregrine falcons to train had capture them on their first flights or migratory "pilgrimages." That practice led to a new sense of "peregrine" ("engaged in or traveling on a pilgrimage"), which was later broadened to "wandering."
Origin and Etymology of peregrine
Medieval French peregrin, from Medieval Latin peregrinus, from Latin, foreign — more at pilgrim
First Known Use: 1599
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