Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To move or proceed slowly or in a scattered or irregular group.
  • intransitive verb To move or lag behind another or others.
  • intransitive verb To extend or be spread out.
  • intransitive verb To hang limply or loosely.
  • noun A scattered or disorderly group, as of people or things.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To rough-dress (a stone for grinding) by a wriggling motion of the dressing-tool, so as to give a roughened surface; rag.
  • To roam or wander away, or become separated, as from one's companions or the direct course or way; stray.
  • To roam or wander at random, or without any certain direction or object; ramble.
  • To escape or stretch out ramblingly or beyond proper limits; spread widely apart; shoot too far in growth.
  • To be dispersed; be apart from any main body; stand alone; be isolated; occur at intervals or apart from one another; occur here and there: as, the houses straggle all over the district.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun rare The act of straggling.
  • intransitive verb To wander from the direct course or way; to rove; to stray; to wander from the line of march or desert the line of battle.
  • intransitive verb To wander at large; to roam idly about; to ramble.
  • intransitive verb To escape or stretch beyond proper limits, as the branches of a plant; to spread widely apart; to shoot too far or widely in growth.
  • intransitive verb To be dispersed or separated; to occur at intervals.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To stray from the road, course or line of march.
  • verb To wander about; ramble.
  • verb To spread at irregular intervals.
  • noun The act of straggling.

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

  • noun a wandering or disorderly grouping (of things or persons)
  • verb wander from a direct or straight course
  • verb go, come, or spread in a rambling or irregular way

Etymologies

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

[Middle English straglen, to wander.]

Examples

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