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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Stray


STRAY, verb intransitive [The elements of this word are not certainly known. Latin , G., to wander, to strike; both probably from the root of reach, stretch. See Straggle.]

1. To wander, as from a direct course; to deviate or go out of the way. We say, to stray from the path or road into the forest or wood.

2. To wander from company, or from the proper limits; as, a sheep strays from the flock; a horse strays from an inclosure.

3. To rove; to wander from the path of duty or rectitude; to err; to deviate.

We have erred and strayed--

4. To wander; to rove at large; to play free and unconfined.

Lo, the glad gales oer all her beauties stray breathe on her lips and in her bosom play.

5. To wander; to run a serpentine course.

Where Thames among the wanton valley strays.

STRAY, verb transitive To mislead. [Not in use.]

STRAY, noun

1. Any domestic animal that has left an inclosure or its proper place and company, and wanders at large or is lost. The laws provide that strays shall be taken up, impounded and advertised.

Seeing him wander about, I took him up for a stray

2. The act of wandering. [Little Used.]