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.

Origin of roam

1300–50; Middle English romen < ?
Related formsroam·er, nounun·roam·ing, adjective

Synonyms for roam

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for roamer

Historical Examples of roamer

  • At the same moment something pushed the Roamer forward and down, down, down.

  • You seldom find a fisherman but who has been more or less of a roamer and adventurer.

  • The adventurous, dare-devil spirit of the roamer, the incarnate gipsy, always looked out of his insolent eyes.

  • I have been quite a roamer in strange places, and at first had a fancy for a life of adventure.

    A Little Girl in Old St. Louis

    Amanda Minnie Douglas

  • He was a natural hunter, roamer, woodsman; as unworldly as a child, and as simple and transparent.

    John James Audubon

    John Burroughs

British Dictionary definitions for roamer



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 roamer



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