Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Scots A vagabond; a drifter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A vagrant.
  • n. A tall awkward fellow.
  • n. A child just beginning to walk, toddler.
  • n. A tramp, vagrant, vagabond.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Wandering; vagrant.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A vagrant.
  • n. A tall awkward fellow.
  • n. A child just beginning to walk.
  • Vagrant; vagabond.

Etymologies

Middle English, probably from gangen, to go; see gangling.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From gang +‎ -rel. Compare gangling. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Meanwhile, as Senator Obama spoke, Senator McCain appeared to wander aimlessly around the stage -- lurking in the shadows like a hissing "gangrel creature with an ill-favored look" -- Gollum with a mic.

    Bob Cesca: That One?!

  • But tell me, good Gerard, how it is that thou art so willing to leave kith and kin to follow a gangrel wife along the ways?

    The Water of the Wondrous Isles

  • This it is; a sorry place enough, were it even for a gangrel body.

    The Water of the Wondrous Isles

  • Strange! said Otter; to my mind it is like to our fortunes on this isle, we who were once knights and merry squires and are now as gangrel men, and of ill conditions, thinking of nought save our first desires, even those which we share with the wolf and the kite.

    The Water of the Wondrous Isles

  • At first, spying him at a mile's reach, they took him for a mere gangrel, since he fared alone and afoot.

    Time Patrolman

  • "Do you care to meet me in fight, old gangrel?" he cried.

    Time Patrolman

  • He is only a wretched gangrel creature, but I have him under my care for a while.

    The Lord of the Rings

  • In all our words together you have not once spoken of your gangrel companion, and I let him be for the time.

    The Lord of the Rings

  • This sort of thing -- so common in Sim MacTaggart, who made friends with every gangrel he met -- was like a week-day sermon, and they considered the Sunday homilies of Dr. Macivor quite enough.

    Doom Castle

  • Mony a lee I tauld doon there i 'the clachan to soother them oot o' butter and milk and eggs, and a bit hen at times; mony a time I hae gie'n my ain dinner to thae gangrel bodies frae

    Doom Castle

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