straying


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stray

 (strā)
intr.v. strayed, stray·ing, strays
1.
a. To move away from a group, deviate from a course, or escape from established limits: strayed away from the tour group to look at some sculptures.
b. To move without a destination or purpose; wander: cows that strayed across the road toward the river. See Synonyms at wander.
2. To be directed without apparent purpose; look in an idle or casual manner: The driver's eyes strayed from the road toward the fields.
3. To follow a winding or erratic course: "White mists began to rise ... on the surface of the river and stray about the roots of the trees upon its borders" (J.R.R. Tolkien).
4. To act contrary to moral or proper behavior, especially in being sexually unfaithful: "He strayed from his marriage and fathered a son with a village woman" (Adam Hochschild).
5. To become diverted, as from a subject or train of thought: strayed from our original purpose. See Synonyms at swerve.
n.
One that has strayed, especially a domestic animal wandering about.
adj.
1. Straying or having strayed; wandering or lost: stray cats and dogs.
2. Scattered or separate: a few stray crumbs.

[Middle English straien, from Old French estraier, from estree, highway, from Latin strāta; see street.]

stray′er n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.straying - unable to find your way; "found the straying sheep"
lost - no longer in your possession or control; unable to be found or recovered; "a lost child"; "lost friends"; "his lost book"; "lost opportunities"
References in classic literature ?
No calamity so touches the common heart of humanity as does the straying of a little child.
It was not a night in which any credible witness was likely to be straying about a cemetery, so the three men who were there, digging into the grave of Henry Armstrong, felt reasonably secure.
Legal experts argue that this law is not enough to stop accidents caused by straying animals.