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verb (used with object), per·am·bu·lat·ed, per·am·bu·lat·ing.
  1. to walk through, about, or over; travel through; traverse.
  2. to traverse in order to examine or inspect.
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verb (used without object), per·am·bu·lat·ed, per·am·bu·lat·ing.
  1. to walk or travel about; stroll.
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Origin of perambulate

1560–70; < Latin perambulātus past participle of perambulāre to walk through. See per-, ambulate
Related formsper·am·bu·la·tion, nounper·am·bu·la·to·ry [per-am-byuh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /pərˈæm byə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for perambulate

Historical Examples

  • But never a salary day that the "white specter" did not perambulate.

    Watch Yourself Go By

    Al. G. Field

  • If you will perambulate with me, I will present you to the bunch.

  • During the year they perambulate the country, drumming up pilgrims.

    From Egypt to Japan

    Henry M. Field

  • So after lunch I asked her to perambulate with me; and we perambulated.

    The Hall and the Grange

    Archibald Marshall

  • His pleasing way is to perambulate the cars, leaving samples of his wares on all the seats and afterwards calling for orders.

    The Land of Contrasts

    James Fullarton Muirhead

British Dictionary definitions for perambulate


  1. to walk about (a place)
  2. (tr) to walk round in order to inspect
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Derived Formsperambulation, nounperambulatory (pəˈræmbjʊlətərɪ, -trɪ), adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Latin perambulāre to traverse, from per through + ambulāre to walk
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for perambulate


1560s, from Latin perambulatus, past participle of perambulare "to walk through, go through, ramble through," from per- "through" (see per) + ambulare "to walk" (see amble). Related: Perambulated; perambulating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper