[ rohm ]
/ roʊm /

verb (used without object)

to walk, go, or travel without a fixed purpose or direction; ramble; wander; rove: to roam about the world.

verb (used with object)

to wander over or through: to roam the countryside.


an act or instance of roaming; a ramble.

Nearby words

  1. roadster,
  2. roadway,
  3. roadwork,
  4. roadworks,
  5. roadworthy,
  6. roaming,
  7. roan,
  8. roanoke,
  9. roanoke island,
  10. roanoke rapids

Origin of roam

1300–50; Middle English romen < ?

1. stray, stroll, prowl. Roam, ramble, range, rove imply wandering about over (usually) a considerable amount of territory. Roam implies a wandering or traveling over a large area, especially as prompted by restlessness or curiosity: to roam through a forest. Ramble implies pleasant, carefree moving about, walking with no specific purpose and for a limited distance: to ramble through fields near home. Range usually implies wandering over a more or less defined but extensive area in search of something: Cattle range over the plains. Rove sometimes implies wandering with specific incentive or aim, as an animal for prey: Bandits rove through these mountains.

Related formsroam·er, nounun·roam·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for roam

British Dictionary definitions for roam


/ (rəʊm) /


to travel or walk about with no fixed purpose or direction; wander


the act of roaming
Derived Formsroamer, noun

Word Origin for roam

C13: origin unknown

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 roam



c.1300, romen, possibly from Old English *ramian "act of wandering about," which is probably related to aræman "arise, lift up." There are no certain cognate forms in other Germanic languages, but Barnhart points to Old Norse reimuðr "act of wandering about," reimast "to haunt." "Except in late puns, there is no evidence of connexion with the Romance words denoting pilgrims or pilgrimages to Rome ...." [OED], such as Spanish romero "a pilot-fish; a pilgrim;" Old French romier "travelling as a pilgrim; a pilgrim," from Medieval Latin romerius "a pilgrim" (originally to Rome). Related: Roamed; roamer; roaming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper