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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
There are no talking-head interviews putting addiction into a moral context, nor are there romanticized vagabonds. Chris Bellamy and Kyle Fowle,, 10 May 2024 Ripley follows Tom Ripley (Scott) after he is hired by a wealthy benefactor to convince his vagabond son Dickie (Johnny Flynn) to return home from Italy. Esther Kang, Peoplemag, 17 Apr. 2024 Shirlee had Theo hanging around the hood like a vagabond; Theo was bound to get caught up. Addie Citchens, The New Yorker, 5 Feb. 2024 Their latest album, The Past is Still Alive, dives into deeply personal stories from their vagabond youth. Suzanne Nuyen, NPR, 23 Feb. 2024 When Easy, a handsome vagabond stranger, appears, the son hatches a plan to replace the father with a new husband, only for that to backfire and a more devious and disastrous scheme to emerge. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Feb. 2024 Titanic is famous for James Cameron's special effects that sent hundreds of passengers realistically hurtling from the side of a giant ship, but it's mainly remembered for the timeless love story between soulful vagabond Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and repressed socialite Rose (Kate Winslet). Lia Beck,, 6 Feb. 2024 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
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

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 28 May. 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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