- to deviate from the direct course, leave the proper place, or go beyond the proper limits, especially without a fixed course or purpose; ramble: to stray from the main road.
- to wander; roam: The new puppy strayed from room to room.
- to go astray; deviate, as from a moral, religious, or philosophical course: to stray from the teachings of the church.
- to digress or become distracted.
- a domestic animal found wandering at large or without an owner.
- any homeless or friendless person or animal.
- a person or animal that strays: the strays of a flock.
- strays, Radio. static.
- straying or having strayed, as a domestic animal.
- found or occurring apart from others or as an isolated or casual instance; incidental or occasional.
- Radio. undesired: stray capacitance.
Origin of stray
SynonymsSee more synonyms for stray on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for strays
This requires being open to what will actually accomplish this—even if it strays from existing dogma.How Cars, Not Subways, Will Make Us Richer
June 4, 2014
“These poor waifs and strays of humanity had a melancholy ending,” an 1874 New York Times article reads.America’s Largest Mass Graveyard May Become a Public Park
January 9, 2014
In Dude Lit, men confide in animals that are not deliberate pets, but wild animals and strays.Chick Lit vs. Dude Lit
September 1, 2010
Porn For Women, however, strays away from the typical preconceived notion of the explicit content beloved by the male species.This Site Is Redefining Porn for Women
May 20, 2014
But the ‘strays’ are ‘crooks,’ and their homes the penitentiary.The Law-Breakers
You know, Willy, I have an old weakness for a sheep that strays.The Shadow of a Crime
"It must have been a bunch of strays we saw—none of them was branded," Lambert said.
Hargus explained that the cattle were strays which had broken out.
Waifs and strays from home, from up-country, from the Pacific.Within the Tides
- Also called: stray capacitance electronics undesired capacitance in equipment, occurring between the wiring, between the wiring and the chassis, or between components and the chassis
- telecomm another word for static (def. 9)
- to wander away, as from the correct path or from a given area
- to wander haphazardly
- to digress from the point, lose concentration, etc
- to deviate from certain moral standards
- a domestic animal, fowl, etc, that has wandered away from its place of keeping and is lost
- (as modifier)stray dogs
- a lost or homeless person, esp a childwaifs and strays
- an isolated or random occurrence, specimen, etc, that is out of place or outside the usual pattern
- scattered, random, or haphazarda stray bullet grazed his thigh
Word Origin and History for strays
c.1300, a shortening of Old French estraier "wander about," literally "go about the streets," from estree "route, highway," from Late Latin via strata "paved road" (see street). On another theory, the Old French word is from Vulgar Latin *estragare, a contraction of *estravagare, representing Latin extra vagari "to wander outside" (see extravagant). Figurative sense of "to wander from the path of rectitude" is attested from early 14c.
"domestic animal found wandering," early 13c., from Old French estraié "strayed," past participle of estraier (see stray (v.)). The adjective is first recorded c.1600.