\ ˈrōm How to pronounce roam (audio) \
roamed; roaming; roams

Definition of roam

intransitive verb

1 : to go from place to place without purpose or direction : wander
2 : to travel purposefully unhindered through a wide area cattle roaming in search of water
3 : to use a cellular phone outside one's local calling area roaming charges

transitive verb

: to range or wander over

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Other Words from roam

roam noun
roamer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for roam

wander, roam, ramble, rove, traipse, meander mean to go about from place to place usually without a plan or definite purpose. wander implies an absence of or an indifference to a fixed course. fond of wandering about the square just watching the people roam suggests wandering about freely and often far afield. liked to roam through the woods ramble stresses carelessness and indifference to one's course or objective. the speaker rambled on without ever coming to the point rove suggests vigorous and sometimes purposeful roaming. armed brigands roved over the countryside traipse implies a course that is erratic but may sometimes be purposeful. traipsed all over town looking for the right dress meander implies a winding or intricate course suggestive of aimless or listless wandering. the river meanders for miles through rich farmland

Examples of roam in a Sentence

The cattle roamed in search of water. Goats roam free on the mountain. He roamed about in search of work. The chickens are able to roam around freely in the farmyard. We roamed around town for a while before dinner. She liked to roam through the woods.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Her Haight neighborhood organization — one of several that partner with the city to do a roaming needle exchange — started handing out foil a couple months ago. Rachel Swan,, "Needles on wane in BART trains and stations, another sign of fentanyl’s rise," 7 July 2019 State police believe the three pit bulls belonging to Alexander were the only dogs responsible for the attack on Butler, but residents of Gilbertsville are urged to exercise caution towards any roaming dogs in the area. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky pit bull owner arrested after man killed by dogs, police say," 5 July 2019 Some demonstrators managed to broadcast live video of the protests, using roaming services or other methods to circumvent the month-old internet blackout that the generals say is necessary for national security. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Bouncing Back From Crackdown, Protesters Surge Through Sudan’s Streets," 30 June 2019 There were some British touches at the game, like the roaming vendors selling Pimm’s cocktails and gin and tonics, but the focus was generally on typical American ballpark fare: hot dogs, nachos, burgers and beer. Washington Post, "‘American positivity’: Baseball popular with British fans," 30 June 2019 At certain points throughout class, Janney diverges from the traditional yoga script to place the focus on the roaming reindeer. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Alaska Now Offers Reindeer Yoga Classes," 26 June 2019 The man said the two roaming dogs were back in their own yard. John Benson,, "Quick-change scam pulled on Chick-fil-A cashier: Strongsville Police Blotter," 26 June 2019 The method could also contribute new insights to the sometimes-acrimonious debate over the impact of free-roaming cats on wildlife, which some research has concluded is profound. Karin Brulliard, Anchorage Daily News, "Catcam videos reveal cats don’t sleep all day," 6 June 2019 Come breeding … Free-roaming domestic cats, a new book argues, are an environmental menace of staggering and still-escalating proportions. Tim Flannery, The New York Review of Books, "Natalie Angier," 9 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'roam.' 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 roam

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for roam

Middle English romen

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Statistics for roam

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for roam

The first known use of roam was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for roam



English Language Learners Definition of roam

: to go to different places without having a particular purpose or plan


\ ˈrōm How to pronounce roam (audio) \
roamed; roaming

Kids Definition of roam

: to go from place to place with no fixed purpose or direction

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More from Merriam-Webster on roam

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with roam

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for roam

Spanish Central: Translation of roam

Nglish: Translation of roam for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of roam for Arabic Speakers

Comments on roam

What made you want to look up roam? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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