stray

Little Red Riding Hood strayed from the path and ended up getting eaten by the Big Bad Wolf. When you stray, you wander off without paying attention to where you're going, and sometimes you get in trouble.

Stray can be used as a verb or as a noun. Your attention may stray when you're tired and listening to a very boring lecture. You may be the kind of person who brings home strays, the dogs and cats that have wandered away from their homes and are lost and hungry. When you're organizing your sock drawer and you've got one sock without a mate, you might find the stray sock left behind in the dryer.

Definitions of stray
  1. verb
    wander from a direct course or at random
    “The child strayed from the path and her parents lost sight of her”
    synonyms: drift, err
    cast, drift, ramble, range, roam, roll, rove, swan, tramp, vagabond, wander
    move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment
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    type of:
    go, locomote, move, travel
    change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically
  2. verb
    move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment
    synonyms: cast, drift, ramble, range, roam, roll, rove, swan, tramp, vagabond, wander
    drift, err
    wander from a direct course or at random
    wander
    go via an indirect route or at no set pace
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    types:
    maunder
    wander aimlessly
    gad, gallivant, jazz around
    wander aimlessly in search of pleasure
    type of:
    go, locomote, move, travel
    change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically
  3. verb
    lose clarity or turn aside especially from the main subject of attention or course of argument in writing, thinking, or speaking
    synonyms: digress, divagate, wander
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    type of:
    tell
    let something be known
  4. noun
    an animal that has strayed (especially a domestic animal)
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    type of:
    domestic animal, domesticated animal
    any of various animals that have been tamed and made fit for a human environment
  5. adjective
    (of an animal) having no home or having wandered away from home
    “a stray calf”
    “a stray dog”
    Synonyms:
    lost
    no longer in your possession or control; unable to be found or recovered
  6. adjective
    not close together in time
    “a few stray crumbs”
    synonyms: isolated
    sporadic
    recurring in scattered and irregular or unpredictable instances
Word Family