vagrant

noun
va·​grant | \ˈvā-grənt \

Definition of vagrant 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : one who has no established residence and wanders idly from place to place without lawful or visible means of support

b : one (such as a prostitute or drunkard) whose conduct constitutes statutory vagrancy

3 : an animal wandering outside its normal geographic range especially : a bird found outside its normal geographic range or migration route : accidental California gulls have turned up as vagrants in other nearby states, including New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania. — Pete Bacinski and Scott Barnes

vagrant

adjective

Definition of vagrant (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : wandering about from place to place usually with no means of support

b of an animal : wandering outside its normal geographic range especially, of a bird : found outside its normal geographic range or migration route : accidental sense 3

2a : having a fleeting, wayward, or inconstant quality a vagrant impulse

b : having no fixed course : random a vagrant breeze

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Other Words from vagrant

Adjective

vagrantly adverb

Examples of vagrant in a Sentence

Noun

a part of the city that attracts many vagrants vagrants sleeping in cardboard boxes on the sidewalk

Adjective

bands of vagrant children in the streets of the impoverished city
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And Friday Follies with Raymond Arroyo exposes the music the Rite Aid was using to drive away vagrants. Fox News, "Kellyanne Conway on growing calls to abolish ICE," 30 June 2018 Gary Police deputy chief Brian Evans told Common Council members recently that police are trying to figure out ways to discourage homeless people and other vagrants who congregate near businesses along Broadway from harassing would-be customers. Gregory Tejeda, Post-Tribune, "Gary police eye crackdown on vagrants near Broadway businesses," 2 July 2018 Vagrancy laws recast former black slaves as vagrants in order to control or eject them from places they were deemed undesirable. Dae Shik Kim Hawkins, The Atlantic, "An App for Ejecting the Homeless," 28 June 2018 Costume designer Holly Poe Durban outfits Falstaff with a convincing fat suit and an unkempt silvery mane befitting a vagrant, while clothing the rest of the cast in period-appropriate early-15th-century togs. Jordan Riefe, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Henry IV': Theater Review," 9 June 2018 Many of the vagrants used the public library’s restrooms to relieve themselves—and to shoot up with heroin, often leaving their needles behind. Allysia Finley, WSJ, "Why California Leaves Its Homeless Out in the Sun," 11 May 2018 Simpson was able to grab the gun away from the vagrant, Joseph Spataro, who was charged with firing a weapon while intoxicated and trespassing. Madeleine Marr, miamiherald, "Parkland teacher left his gun in a bathroom. A homeless guy fired it, cops say. | Miami Herald," 11 Apr. 2018 After the Gold Rush, growing numbers of vagrant and destitute children began wandering the city’s streets. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, "Corrupt, inhumane reform school was SF’s first form of juvenile justice," 16 Mar. 2018 In addition to reducing homelessness, the mayor and Assembly have taken action to remove vagrants' camps in greenbelt parks. Anchorage Daily News, "It’s too late to prevent the opioid epidemic, but progress is being made in addressing Anchorage crime," 14 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer launched the effort last September following an outbreak of hepatitis A, which is believed to have spread among vagrant communities. Cliff Kapono, sandiegouniontribune.com, "City partners with private and public groups to clean up San Diego River," 11 July 2018 Though provocative on their own, these vagrant personal dramas don’t hook together into a coherent pattern. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "The Best New Fiction," 1 Sep. 2017 Somehow a vagrant shrew (the only type of shrew found on Whidbey, this one living up to its name) had entered their home, seemingly asking to be counted. Kathryn True, The Seattle Times, "Whidbey Island nature lover enriches travels with a Mammal Big Year," 8 June 2017

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

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First Known Use of vagrant

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for vagrant

Noun

Middle English vageraunt, vagraunt, borrowed from Anglo-French vageraunt, from present participle of vagrer "to wander about," probably blend of vaguer "to be unoccupied, wander about" (borrowed from Late Latin vagāre, Latin vagārī "to wander, roam") and waucrer, wakrer "to wander about," perhaps going back to Old Low Franconian (Frankish substratum of French) *walkaran-, frequentative derivative of Germanic *walkan- "to roll, toss" — more at vagabond entry 2, walk entry 1

Adjective

Middle English vagaraunt "inclined to wander, lacking a livelihood," borrowed from Anglo-French vageraunt, waucrant, present participle of vagrer "to wander about" — more at vagrant entry 1

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Learn More about vagrant

Dictionary Entries near vagrant

vagous

vagrance

vagrancy

vagrant

vagrom

vags

vague

Statistics for vagrant

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vagrant

The first known use of vagrant was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for vagrant

vagrant

noun

English Language Learners Definition of vagrant

: a person who has no place to live and no job and who asks people for money

vagrant

noun
va·​grant | \ˈvā-grənt \

Kids Definition of vagrant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who has no steady job and wanders from place to place

vagrant

adjective

Kids Definition of vagrant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : wandering about from place to place

2 : having no fixed course vagrant breezes

vagrant

adjective
va·​grant | \ˈvā-grənt \

Medical Definition of vagrant 

: having no fixed course : moving from place to place a vagrant infection

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vagrant

noun
va·​grant | \ˈvā-grənt \

Legal Definition of vagrant 

: one who has no established residence and wanders about without lawful or identifiable means of support vagrants may not be punished for being vagrants; only persons who commit culpable acts are liable for criminal sanctionsState v. Richard, 836 P.2d 622 (1992)

History and Etymology for vagrant

Anglo-French wagerant vageraunt, from present participle of vagrer walcrer to wander about, drift, probably from Old Norse valka to roll, wallow

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