\ ˈrōm How to pronounce roam (audio) \
roamed; roaming; roams

Definition of roam

intransitive verb

1 : to go from place to place without purpose or direction : wander
2 : to travel purposefully unhindered through a wide area cattle roaming in search of water
3 : to use a cellular phone outside one's local calling area roaming charges

transitive verb

: to range or wander over

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Other Words from roam

roam noun
roamer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for roam

wander, roam, ramble, rove, traipse, meander mean to go about from place to place usually without a plan or definite purpose. wander implies an absence of or an indifference to a fixed course. fond of wandering about the square just watching the people roam suggests wandering about freely and often far afield. liked to roam through the woods ramble stresses carelessness and indifference to one's course or objective. the speaker rambled on without ever coming to the point rove suggests vigorous and sometimes purposeful roaming. armed brigands roved over the countryside traipse implies a course that is erratic but may sometimes be purposeful. traipsed all over town looking for the right dress meander implies a winding or intricate course suggestive of aimless or listless wandering. the river meanders for miles through rich farmland

Examples of roam in a Sentence

The cattle roamed in search of water. Goats roam free on the mountain. He roamed about in search of work. The chickens are able to roam around freely in the farmyard. We roamed around town for a while before dinner. She liked to roam through the woods.
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Recent Examples on the Web In Botswana our livestock roam the towns and villages. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, 1 Sep. 2021 These mammoths would have continued to roam in search of food, opportunities to mate and, much like Alaska’s modern mammals, refuge from the swarms of biting insects that spring up in the warm months. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Aug. 2021 Junior Jamal Miles and senior Fabian Calderon roam the secondary. Dennis Victory, al, 24 Aug. 2021 From Petrarch to Macfarlane, minds roam as much as feet do. Alejandro Chacoff, The New Yorker, 23 Aug. 2021 The animals normally roam free as attendees drive through the park, but the animals normally remain in a separate space while the staff clean and maintain the enclosure. Peter Aitken, Fox News, 7 Aug. 2021 More than 20,000 of these rhinos currently roam the earth, mostly in South Africa. Damon Casarez, Popular Mechanics, 2 Aug. 2021 Countless bears roam the beaches, often hunkering down in the afternoon sun to rummage through piles of rotting, stinking kelp that washes up on the beach., 24 July 2021 Countless bears roam the beaches, often hunkering down in the afternoon sun to rummage through piles of rotting, stinking kelp that washes up on the beach. Emily Schwing, Anchorage Daily News, 24 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'roam.' 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 roam

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for roam

Middle English romen

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Time Traveler for roam

Time Traveler

The first known use of roam was in the 14th century

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Statistics for roam

Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Roam.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for roam



English Language Learners Definition of roam

: to go to different places without having a particular purpose or plan


\ ˈrōm How to pronounce roam (audio) \
roamed; roaming

Kids Definition of roam

: to go from place to place with no fixed purpose or direction

More from Merriam-Webster on roam

Nglish: Translation of roam for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of roam for Arabic Speakers


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