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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


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: 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

Examples of vagabond in a Sentence

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
Like that movie, Ripley follows the conman after he is hired by a wealthy benefactor to convince his vagabond son Dickie Greenleaf to return home from Italy. Dave Quinn, Peoplemag, 22 Jan. 2024 There’s a scene in the Paul Reubens-starrer Pee-wee’s Big Adventure that finds its titular character setting off on a vagabond adventure. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Oct. 2023 At the time, many were trying to put their lives back together after their experiences at Christians of Faith in 2018, an initial season in which several dozen teenage boys lived like football vagabonds. Billy Witz, New York Times, 15 Sep. 2023 The writhing moon goddesses in celestial white linen, beholden to neither human nor lease, vagabonds with steal-your-soul smiles, divining off-kilter rhythms from the dark star void. Jeff Weiss, Spin, 21 Aug. 2023 Although the pizza-pilfering vagabonds — and a variety of other creatures — thrive in cities, for many wild animals urban environments are unappealing homes, covered in concrete and carved up by car traffic. Emily Anthes, New York Times, 4 Sep. 2023 Although the pizza-pilfering vagabonds — and a variety of other creatures — thrive in cities, for many wild animals, urban environments are unappealing homes, covered in concrete and carved up by car traffic. Emily Anthes,, 4 Sep. 2023 The humble vagabond’s pose while asking for alms conjures these and countless other hand-in-jacket portraits of emperors, gentlemen, generals and eminent leaders, especially from the 17th and 18th centuries. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 31 July 2023 The Town is about to lose its last team standing, as the Athletics – rooted in Oakland since 1968, facility vagabonds since the Raiders laid waste to their stadium in 1995 – are far along in their dalliance with Las Vegas, where taxpayer dollars are looser than the slot machines. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 14 June 2023
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
As a vagabonding aviator, Zdarsky flew his trike around Joshua Tree and Death Valley, and even over 14,505-foot-tall Mount Whitney in the Sierra Nevada range, nearly freezing himself in the process. Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Aug. 2023 Providing different perspectives are a vagabonding Swedish artist and his British wife as well as an Aboriginal wrangler called Billy, whose skill as a cricket batsman has blighted his connection to his family traditions. Alida Becker, New York Times, 5 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vagabond.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 21 Feb. 2024.

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


Middle English vagabond "moving about with no fixed home," from early French vacabund (same meaning), from Latin vagabundus (same meaning), from vagari "to wander about" — related to extravagant

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