straggle

To straggle is to wander in an indirect, meandering way. Lions often go for the small antelopes that straggle behind the herd.

To straggle is to veer from a route, or to wander aimlessly behind everyone else. If you plan to go to the movies but end up at a store and then a friend's house, you straggled. Straggling is a type of digressing — to straggle is to get sidetracked. In the military, straggling often means to stay on leave too long or be in the wrong position for a battle. When people straggle, they've gone off-course.

Definitions of straggle
  1. verb
    wander from a direct or straight course
    synonyms: depart, digress, sidetrack
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    type of:
    deviate, divert
    turn aside; turn away from
  2. verb
    go, come, or spread in a rambling or irregular way
    “Branches straggling out quite far”
    synonyms: sprawl
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    type of:
    distribute, spread
    distribute or disperse widely
  3. noun
    a wandering or disorderly grouping (of things or persons)
    “a straggle of outbuildings”
    “a straggle of followers”
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    type of:
    group, grouping
    any number of entities (members) considered as a unit
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