vagrant

noun
va·​grant | \ ˈvā-grənt How to pronounce vagrant (audio) \

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

Synonyms for vagrant

Synonyms: Noun

bindle stiff, bum, bummer, hobo, sundowner [Australian], swaggie [chiefly Australian], swagman [chiefly Australian], tramp, vagabond

Synonyms: Adjective

ambulant, ambulatory, errant, fugitive, gallivanting (also galavanting), itinerant, nomad, nomadic, perambulatory, peregrine, peripatetic, ranging, roaming, roving, vagabond, wandering, wayfaring

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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

The Kickapoo lost not only their lands by force but also their story, long recast by county historians and old-settler societies as a tale of vagrants and nomads. Carlos Lozada, Washington Post, "Are we telling the right story of America?," 27 June 2019 In the past, some vagrants were incarcerated for drug offenses. Allysia Finley, WSJ, "The Troubles Beneath the Surface of California’s Comeback," 28 June 2019 The Kickapoo lost not only their lands by force but also their story, long recast by county historians and old-settler societies as a tale of vagrants and nomads. Carlos Lozada, Houston Chronicle, "Are we telling the right story of America?," 6 July 2019 These are not drug dealers or vagrants or criminals. Omar Villafranca, CBS News, ""I hate it": Trump and lawmakers react to tragic photo of migrant father and daughter," 26 June 2019 The investigation shifted to local vagrants and burglars. Tribune News Service, oregonlive.com, "The Man in the Window: Closing in on DeAngelo (Part Four)," 23 June 2019 Walking through Mid-Market today, one is almost guaranteed to see open-air drug dealing, hear the yelling of mentally disturbed homeless vagrants, and smell urine on the sidewalks. James Sutton, National Review, "Don’t Blame Big Tech for San Francisco’s Homelessness Crisis," 13 June 2019 Simpson faced no charges; the vagrant, Joseph Spataro, was charged with firing a weapon while intoxicated and trespassing. Madeleine Marr, miamiherald, "A cop left his his gun at Burger King. It ended up somewhere totally different.," 11 June 2018 At the beach their son, Jason, wanders off and encounters a vagrant standing near that same funhouse, his fingers dripping with blood. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Does Jordan Peele’s Us Live Up to Get Out?," 21 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Like, for example, that iconic and emotional moment in the film when Andrews sings of paying a vagrant woman to feed the birds in front of St. Paul's Cathedral. Rose Minutaglio, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Surprising Real-Life Inspiration for Mary Poppins," 16 Nov. 2018 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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Dictionary Entries near vagrant

vagous

vagrance

vagrancy

vagrant

vagrom

vags

vague

Statistics for vagrant

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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 How to pronounce vagrant (audio) \

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 How to pronounce vagrant (audio) \

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 How to pronounce vagrant (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on vagrant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vagrant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vagrant

Spanish Central: Translation of vagrant

Nglish: Translation of vagrant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vagrant for Arabic Speakers

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