[ vey-gruhnt ]
See synonyms for vagrant on
  1. a person who wanders about idly and has no permanent home or employment; vagabond; tramp.

  2. Law. an idle person without visible means of support, as a tramp or beggar.

  1. a person who wanders from place to place; wanderer; rover.

  2. wandering idly without a permanent home or employment; living in vagabondage: vagrant beggars.

  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a vagrant: the vagrant life.

  2. wandering or roaming from place to place; nomadic.

  1. (of plants) straggling in growth.

  2. not fixed or settled, especially in course; moving hither and thither: a vagrant leaf blown by the wind.

Origin of vagrant

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English vagaraunt, apparently present participle of unattested Anglo-French vagrer, perhaps from unattested Middle English vagren, blend of vagen (from Latin vagārī “to wander”) and unattested walcren (becoming Old French wa(u)crer), equivalent to walc- (see walk) + -r- frequentative suffix + -en infinitive suffix

synonym study For vagrant

1. Vagrant, vagabond describe an idle, disreputable person who lacks a fixed abode. Vagrant suggests a tramp, a person with no settled abode or livelihood, an idle and disorderly person: picked up by police as a vagrant. Vagabond especially emphasizes the idea of worthless living, often by trickery, thieving, or other disreputable means: Actors were once classed with rogues and vagabonds.

Other words from vagrant

  • va·grant·ly, adverb
  • va·grant·ness, noun
  • non·va·grant, adjective
  • non·va·grant·ly, adverb
  • non·va·grant·ness, noun
  • un·va·grant, adjective
  • un·va·grant·ly, adverb
  • un·va·grant·ness, noun

Words Nearby vagrant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use vagrant in a sentence

  • Yet the word vagrant is a misnomer in this city, where economy has reached a finesse that is marvelous.

    The Real Latin Quarter | F. Berkeley Smith
  • For the first time Bud had a vagrant suspicion that Foster had not told quite all there was to tell about this trip.

    Cabin Fever | B. M. Bower
  • Orders were issued to the boards of management of the newly created vagrant districts, telling them that they need not meet.

  • Yet even for the professional vagrant the promiscuous London casual ward of 1864 was not to be extended.

  • Says one of the characters, referring to the importunities of a tipsy vagrant, “Give him half-a-crown!”

British Dictionary definitions for vagrant


/ (ˈveɪɡrənt) /

  1. a person of no settled abode, income, or job; tramp

  2. a migratory animal that is off course

  1. wandering about; nomadic

  2. of, relating to, or characteristic of a vagrant or vagabond

  1. moving in an erratic fashion, without aim or purpose; wayward

  2. (of plants) showing uncontrolled or straggling growth

Origin of vagrant

C15: probably from Old French waucrant (from wancrer to roam, of Germanic origin), but also influenced by Old French vagant vagabond, from Latin vagārī to wander
  • Archaic equivalent: vagrom (ˈveɪɡrəm)

Derived forms of vagrant

  • vagrantly, adverb
  • vagrantness, noun

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