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vag·​a·​bond ˈva-gə-ˌbänd How to pronounce vagabond (audio)
: a person who wanders from place to place without a fixed home : one leading a vagabond life
especially : vagrant, tramp
vagabondage noun
vagabondism noun


2 of 3


: moving from place to place without a fixed home : wandering
: of, relating to, or characteristic of a wanderer
: leading an unsettled, irresponsible, or disreputable life
vagabondish adjective


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vagabonded; vagabonding; vagabonds

intransitive verb

: to wander in the manner of a vagabond : roam about

Example Sentences

Noun be wary of the vagabonds in that corner of the city after they retired, the couple bought an RV and became footloose vagabonds Adjective a vagabond group of entertainers that performed in rough-and-tumble mining towns
Recent Examples on the Web
Through these travels, we're welcomed into a secret network of ravenous outlaws, of vagabond monsters walking among their prey, living meal to sinful meal, always on the run, and occasionally crossing paths. A.a. Dowd, Chron, 23 Nov. 2022 These vagabond spikes of the Padres, longing to stray, are Los Angeles bound. San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Oct. 2022 That poisonous word meets antivenom with a surprise visit from Mitzi’s elderly uncle Boris (Judd Hirsch), a vagabond who worked in circuses and in Hollywood. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Sep. 2022 In another example of self-portraiture, Mr. Clemente inserted himself as the vagabond-like Fool, typically regarded as a tarot deck’s first card. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, 22 July 2022 Few, however, remain today, as so many in period succumbed to rust or maltreatment, being passed from one vagabond owner to the next, each toking his or her way from campground to campground. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 13 June 2022 Since season 1, fans have been wondering what the deal is with the mysterious, seemingly all-knowing vagabond Horse (Brendan Sexton III). Lauren Huff,, 22 Apr. 2022 If ever there was a good time be a vagabond, this stretch of the Lakers’ schedule might be as good as any. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 2022 Our surrogate, Kay, is a young woman who ran away from her southern Louisiana home to live as a vagabond. Todd Martensgame Critic, Los Angeles Times, 8 Apr. 2022
There are records of albatrosses spending decades living as vagabond singletons in the wrong hemisphere, Lees said. Arkansas Online, 7 Nov. 2021 By modern standards, Wray's story feels like rock and roll lore that edges on pulp: As a child, he was raised in poverty in Dunn, North Carolina, and learned to play guitar from a vagabond bluesman named Hambone. Colin Stutz, Billboard, 10 Oct. 2017 Hill’s book teems with sloppy and obvious devices (to the point of cliche), including a vagabond narrator (Steve Pacek) preempting for us the obvious songs that require no explanation. Jim Rutter,, 24 Sep. 2017 The vagabond fair has set up in a half-dozen different locations over the past 41 years, but it was forced to cancel its plans in recent years because of the problems securing city permits. Larry Barszewski,, 22 Sep. 2017 Spoiler alert: The Glass Castle, in theaters now and based on journalist Jeannette Walls’ 2005 best-selling memoir about her vagabond childhood, boasts one of the most unexpected, triumphant, hide-under-your-couch scenes in recent film history. Justine Harman, Glamour, 16 Aug. 2017 See More

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

Word History



Middle English vacabounde, vagabounde, borrowed from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French vacabunde, borrowed from Late Latin vagābundus, from Latin vagārī "to wander, roam" (verbal derivative of vagus "moving freely, wandering") + -bundus, deverbal adjective suffix (akin to Latin fuī "I was," Old English bēon "to be") — more at vague, be

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1586, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near vagabond

Cite this Entry

“Vagabond.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
vag·​a·​bond ˈvag-ə-ˌbänd How to pronounce vagabond (audio)
: moving from place to place without a fixed home


2 of 2 noun
: a person who leads a vagabond life

More from Merriam-Webster on vagabond

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