straggle

1 of 2

verb

strag·​gle ˈstra-gəl How to pronounce straggle (audio)
straggled; straggling ˈstra-g(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce straggle (audio)

intransitive verb

1
: to wander from the direct course or way : rove, stray
2
: to trail off from others of its kind
little cabins straggling off into the woods
straggler noun

straggle

2 of 2

noun

: a straggling group (as of persons or objects)

Example Sentences

Verb The children straggled in from outside. People straggled off the train. She straggled behind the rest of the group. Branches straggled out and blocked the path.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Last night’s revelry didn’t end until 4 a.m., and actors straggle into Anthology slowly, distinguishable by various degrees of bedragglement, hangover, and walk-of-shame-iness. Mark Harris, Vulture, 26 Jan. 2022 Isolated pedestrians straggle across the sunbaked span. Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug. 2022 In the longer races, some competitors would straggle to the finish line well after Heiden had won and departed. Los Angeles Times, 2 Feb. 2022 Separated from their family and each other, each boy found a way to straggle home on his own. Mujib Mashal, New York Times, 23 Dec. 2021 These best-guess first estimates are often refined as responses straggle in from more of the 697,000 establishments surveyed each month, including major employers, government agencies and a rotating cast of small businesses. Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2021 Other jurisdictions have also been working out how to handle employees who straggle or refuse to follow vaccination mandates. Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times, 15 Oct. 2021 As the students straggle in, those who are about to lead the service gather for a quick prayer, standing on the basketball court near the corner three-point line. Freep.com, 8 Oct. 2021 The architecture of the new buildings — the final pair, including a tower with a skate park out front, will straggle along a few years from now — is a case study in working creatively within severe constraints. Justin Davidson, Curbed, 30 June 2021
Noun
Cloistered from civilization by a steep 900-foot climb over loose and jutting rock, the glade goes unseen by most everyone but a straggle of hikers on the Appalachian Trail, the 2,180-mile footpath carved into the roofs of 14 eastern states. Earl Swift, Outside Online, 2 Sep. 2015 The next spring the vine leafed out solidly and there, somewhere in the foliage, hung one thin straggle of purple flowers. Murr Brewster, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 June 2018 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English straglen

First Known Use

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1865, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of straggle was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near straggle

Cite this Entry

“Straggle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/straggle. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

straggle

verb
strag·​gle
ˈstrag-əl
straggled; straggling
-(ə-)liŋ
1
: to wander from a course or way : rove, stray
2
: to trail off from others of its kind
little cabins straggling off into the woods
straggler
-(ə-)lər
noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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