A vagrant is someone who is homeless and poor and may wander from place to place. In fiction a vagrant often is a criminal, but a real-life vagrant might just be a person who has lost a job and family and lives off the streets with help from charity.

Many synonyms for vagrant imply laziness and criminal behavior, such as "bum," "tramp," and "vagabond," and some vagrants do make money through crime. Often, though, a vagrant is a down-on-his-luck person who has lost work, family, or health and lives on the streets. European roots for vagrant point to "wander" or "wander about," and a vagrant is a wanderer — a man or woman without a place to call home.

Definitions of vagrant

n a wanderer who has no established residence or visible means of support

drifter, floater, vagabond
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a vagrant living on a beach
a tramp who habitually arrives at sundown
bum, hobo, tramp
a disreputable vagrant
dosser, street person
someone who sleeps in any convenient place
Type of:
have-not, poor person
a person with few or no possessions
bird of passage, roamer, rover, wanderer
someone who leads a wandering unsettled life

adj continually changing especially as from one abode or occupation to another

vagrant hippies of the sixties”
aimless, drifting, floating, vagabond
not settled or established

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