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From Middle English romen, from Old English rāmian, from Proto-Germanic *raimōną (to wander), from *raim- (to move, raise), from *h₃reyH- (to move, lift, flow). Akin to Old English ārǣman (to arise, stand up, lift up), Old High German rāmēn (to aim)[1] ( > archaic German rahmen (to strive)), Middle Dutch rammen (to night-wander, to copulate), rammelen (to wander about, ramble). More at ramble.



roam (third-person singular simple present roams, present participle roaming, simple past and past participle roamed)

  1. (intransitive) To wander or travel freely and with no specific destination.
    • 1986, Marc Jordan, John Capek, “Rhythm of My Heart”, in Vagabond Heart[1], performed by Rod Stewart, published 1991:
      Oh, never will I roam / Now I know my place is home / Where the ocean meets the sky / I'll be sailin'
    • 2013 November 26, Daniel Taylor, “Jack Wilshere scores twice to ease Arsenal to victory over Marseille”, in The Guardian[2], archived from the original on 22 December 2021:
      Wilshere had started as a left-footed right-winger, coming in off the flank, but he and Özil both had the licence to roam. Tomas Rosicky was not tied down to one spot either and, with Ramsey breaking forward as well as Olivier Giroud's considerable presence, Marseille were overwhelmed from the moment Bacary Sagna's first touch of the night sent Wilshere running clear.
  2. (transitive) To range or wander over.
    Gangs of thugs roamed the streets.
  3. (intransitive, computing, telecommunications) To use a network or service from different locations or devices.
  4. (transitive, computing, telecommunications) To transmit (resources) between different locations or devices, to allow comparable usage from any of them.
    • 2013, Scott Isaacs, Kyle Burns, Beginning Windows Store Application Development:
      At first, it seemed counterintuitive to me to roam settings between computers, but my problem at the time was that every example I was considering was a setting that only made sense for a single computer.


Derived terms[edit]



roam (plural roams)

  1. The act of roaming; a wander; a travel without aim or destination
    • 2017, Rick Maloy, Evenings and Mournings:
      Glass in hand, he set off on a roam of the first floor.






  1. inflection of roer:
    1. third-person plural present subjunctive
    2. third-person plural imperative