Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To walk through.
  • transitive v. To inspect (an area) on foot.
  • intransitive v. To walk about; roam or stroll.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To walk about, roam or stroll.
  • v. To inspect (an area) on foot.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To walk about; to ramble; to stroll.
  • transitive v. To walk through or over; especially, to travel over for the purpose of surveying or examining; to inspect by traversing; specifically, to inspect officially the boundaries of, as of a town or parish, by walking over the whole line.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To walk through, about, or over.
  • To survey while passing through; traverse and examine; survey the boundaries of: as, to perambulate a parish or its boundaries.
  • To walk, or walk about.
  • To be carried in a, perambulator.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make an official inspection on foot of (the bounds of a property)
  • v. walk with no particular goal

Etymologies

Latin perambulāre, perambulāt- : per-, per- + ambulāre, to walk; see ambhi in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin perambulō. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The spatial character of architectural mnemonics — that one would "perambulate" cloisters and palaces in the mind, composing narratives with the ornaments and images arrayed therein — reflects a phenomenological dimension to thought that may be quite foreign to a modern-day observer.

    Architecture and Memory: The Renaissance Studioli of Federico da Montefeltro

  • While healthy elephants can trudge long distances in search of water, "weak and sick" animals are unable to "perambulate" and succumb, says forest veterinarian Dr N.S. Manoharan.

    The Earth Times Online Newspaper

  • Then again, I'm positively balmy myself, so I was prepared to perambulate with a pack of pinniped pals.

    Jerry Zezima: "Seals of Approval"

  • But for many of us, pedestrians are the major threat, particularly when they perambulate in an iPod bubble.

    Two Wheels that Tame Your City

  • Unlike the Tuilleries, the Luxembourg is where Parisians go to perambulate.

    What to Do in Paris / Que faire a Paris? - French Word-A-Day

  • Go on, now: bust a move, or whatever it is you homeboys do to help you perambulate.

    The Whisperers

  • I find myself having to tell my students to unlearn this tendency by, among others, asking them to throw their thesaurus away, especially when the only reason they turn to it is to find a fancier word for something as basic as “talk” (expostulate?) or “walk” (perambulate?)

    Archive 2010-03-01

  • This is because New York is a crowded city, and our pedestrians meaning, really, all of us are innately compelled towards broad thoroughfares on which to perambulate.

    The Indignity of Commuting by Bicycle: The Case for Gravel

  • Instead of jawboning on cell phones, we discuss politics, our kids, religion, gardening and local “gossip” as we perambulate.

    CSS: Shaping the New You

  • This makes them fine, cooperative walking companions—better than many humans I perambulate the city with, whom I constantly knock into as I lead them on a preferred route.

    INSIDE OF A DOG

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