\ 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 Most teams let fans roam the back fields with few restrictions. New York Times, "Ready or Not, Baseball Begins Spring Training This Week," 15 Feb. 2021 Earlier this week, the non-profit organization that cares for the herd of wild horses that roam the Outer Banks shared a photo on Facebook showing several people standing atop a sand dune in close proximity to at least two of the animals. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "“Folks, This Is Not OK”: Wild Horse Fund Implores Outer Banks Visitors to Respect Laws," 30 Dec. 2020 Foxx has also implemented controversial bail reform policies that some say allow violent offenders to roam the streets before their court date. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, "Violent crime in cities presents new-year challenge for Democratic mayors," 26 Dec. 2020 The animals go to the Pearce residence, where the larger ones roam freely. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Wombats, snails, ferrets: The animals that brought us joy during the pandemic," 23 Dec. 2020 But because mitochondrial DNA gets passed down directly from mother to puppy, Meachen and her colleagues could tell that Zhùr wasn’t a direct ancestor of the wolves that roam the Klondike today. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Yukon gold miner unearths a mummified Ice Age wolf pup," 22 Dec. 2020 Minnesota is ancestral land of the Democrats, the kind of place where free-range herds of Mondales and Humphreys roam the plains. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Could Biden Blow This Thing?," 30 Oct. 2020 In the wide open farmlands of Austin, Texas, there are plenty of rescue communities for the thousands of animals that roam around. Katey Clifford, al, "‘That Animal Rescue Show’ | How to watch, live stream, TV Channel, time," 29 Oct. 2020 The company said the robots won't roam store aisles. Joseph Pisani, Star Tribune, "Walmart to build more robot-filled warehouses at stores," 27 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for roam

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for roam

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Roam.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for roam

Nglish: Translation of roam for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of roam for Arabic Speakers

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