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rolling stone

a restless or wandering person
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Examples from the Web for rolling stone
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Thus we see that a rolling stone is not without honor, save in his own country.

    Peeps at People Robert Cortes Holliday
  • It was the cry of the rolling stone that is bruised and weary.

    Gigolo Edna Ferber
  • I remember writing home that I was in a country where the rolling stone gathered most moss.

  • It illustrates, on the mental plane, the truth of the "rolling stone."

    The Story of the Mind James Mark Baldwin
  • For years he has been a rolling stone, but always said that when he settled down he would come to Colester.

    The Pagan's Cup Fergus Hume
Contemporary definitions for rolling stone

a person who likes to move often, unwilling to settle in one place

Word Origin

from proverb "a rolling stone gathers no moss"'s 21st Century Lexicon
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Idioms and Phrases with rolling stone

rolling stone

A person who moves about a great deal and never settles down, as in Kate's lived in ten cities in as many years—she's a real rolling stone. This expression is a shortening of the proverba rolling stone gathers no moss, first recorded in 1523, which indicates that one who never settles anywhere will not do well. After some 300 years of this interpretation, in the mid-1800s the value of gathering moss (and staying put) began to be questioned, and in current usage the term is most often used without any particular value judgment.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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