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

Synonyms: Adjective

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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 Coronavirus seems to pounce on these attributes, like a famished vagrant at a free all-you-can-eat buffet. Sam Adams, The Denver Post, "Sam Adams: As a stand-up comedian I frequently joke about race, but the Douglas County Republicans should be ashamed of that cartoon," 17 July 2020 The 35-year-old vagrant then grabbed the child, picked him up and threw him to the concrete, slamming his face on the ground, police said. Fox News, "Homeless man randomly picks up 6-year-old, slams him on concrete: report," 11 Oct. 2019 Neighboring what passes for a metro area out here, Hawkeye is no secret—not from other hunters nor birders nor a cast of more nefarious characters ranging from mere vagrants to meth dealers. Phil Bourjaily, Field & Stream, "Great Stories: The Anniversary Tom," 12 Mar. 2020 In 2019, the number of homeless citizens living in cars, vans and RVs increased, along with the number of vagrants living in tents or makeshift setups. Nick Givas, Fox News, "Homelessness in Los Angeles: Here are the statistics," 15 Feb. 2020 Joshua Bright for The New York Times Dean Feldman spends so much time in the lobby of Schwab House, a co-op with some 600 units on the Upper West Side, that the uninitiated might easily mistake him for a doorman — or a vagrant. Joanne Kaufman, New York Times, "Is It a Good Idea to Use an In-House Broker?," 14 Feb. 2020 Media have reported the rounding up of vagrants and the suspension of leisure facilities. Time, "North Korea Says It Has No Coronavirus – Despite Mounting Clues to the Contrary," 3 Mar. 2020 The child was sitting on the steps of his grandparent’s house on Metropolitan Avenue near 123rd Street in Kew Gardens at about 5 p.m. when the vagrant walked into their driveway, said Rabbi Naftali Portnoy, the boy’s grandfather. Fox News, "Homeless man randomly picks up 6-year-old, slams him on concrete: report," 11 Oct. 2019 One of the speakers recalled when Vasquez, as a vicar, was asked by church members to shoo away a man outside the church who was viewed as a vagrant. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "‘My last Christmas’ — San Antonio poet-turned-pastor faces death with grace," 24 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective While the Millennial Belafonte may proclaim this vagrant hope, Seldom Seen conveyed its spiritual cost. Armond White, National Review, "Kansas City: Belafonte’s Greatest Political Lecture on Film," 11 Mar. 2020 Researchers suspect these vagrant neutrophils release neutrophil elastase and other molecules at the wrong spots, including the lungs, causing the tissue damage seen in COPD. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, "New drugs aim to disarm the immune system’s ‘atomic bomb’ cells," 5 Mar. 2020 The vagrant children of many nations were crouched and high and drunken there . . . Ellen Akins, Washington Post, "In Kevin Barry’s ‘Night Boat to Tangier,’ two Irish gangsters are entertaining company," 18 Sep. 2019 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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Time Traveler for vagrant

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for vagrant

Last Updated

11 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vagrant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vagrant. Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for vagrant

vagrant

noun
How to pronounce vagrant (audio)

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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