\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Distraught neighbors cried and consoled each other as news crews roamed the placid block. New York Times, "She Was Afraid of Her Husband. Days Later, She and Her 5-Year-Old Were Dead.," 7 Nov. 2019 Today, scientists say tens of thousands of pythons roam the Florida Everglades and nearby areas including Big Cypress National Preserve. Justin Worland, Time, "Inside the Effort to Hunt Pythons Slithering Amok in the Florida Everglades," 6 Nov. 2019 Turkey’s military said Turkish and Russian troops, backed by drones, were roaming the Ayn al-Arab region, east of the Euphrates River, which is also known as Kobane., "‘‘We know that terrorists are present within the limits of the safe zone we have designated with both sides,’’ Erdogan said. ‘‘They cannot deceive us by saying ‘we have taken the terrorists out of these places, we have cleared them of terrorists.’ ’’," 6 Nov. 2019 The wildlife agency forecasts the number of bears roaming the state will more than double to 11,000 animals by the year 2026-27 unless checked by disease, famine or a management option. Stephen Hudak,, "Florida’s proposed plan to manage bears would allow another bear hunt, foes fear," 6 Nov. 2019 Cats roaming throughout empty streets were reunited with their owners. Sarah Ravani,, "In Healdsburg, a motel stayed open for first responders as fires scorched nearby hills," 31 Oct. 2019 Thirteen eagles migrating south from Russia and Kazakhstan racked up hundreds of dollars of data roaming charges this summer when their tracking tags attempted to send SMS messages from out of range. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Migrating eagles rack up huge data roaming charges," 30 Oct. 2019 So the scientists may not have to worry about roaming charges next year. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Eagles fly to Iran, rack up huge roaming charges," 28 Oct. 2019 About the only complaint any Texans fan could have had was the number of Raiders fans roaming the stadium parking lots. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Texans, Raiders fans tailgate on a perfect Sunday afternoon," 27 Oct. 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.

See More

First Known Use of roam

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

History and Etymology for roam

Middle English romen

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about roam

Statistics for roam

Last Updated

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for roam

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for roam


How to pronounce roam (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on roam

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for roam

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


a calculated move

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!