From Middle English truant, truand, trewande, trowant (= Middle Dutch trouwant, trawant, truwant), from Old French truand, truant (“a vagabond, beggar, rogue", also "beggarly, roguish”), of Celtic origin, perhaps from Gaulish *trugan, or from Breton truan (“wretched”), from Proto-Celtic *térh₁-tro-m, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *terh₁-.
truant (not comparable)
- Absent without permission, especially from school.
- He didn't graduate because he was chronically truant and didn't have enough attendances to meet the requirement.
- Wandering from business or duty; straying; loitering; idle, and shirking duty.
- 1697, “The Third Book of the Georgics”, in Virgil; John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. […], London: […] Jacob Tonson, […], OCLC 403869432, lines 705-710:
- But where thou seest a single Sheep remain
In shades aloof, or couch'd upon the Plain;
Or listlesly to crop the tender Grass;
Or late to lag behind, with truant pace;
Revenge the Crime; and take the Traytor's head,
E're in the faultless Flock the dire Contagion spread.
- 1848 November – 1850 December, William Makepeace Thackeray, The History of Pendennis. […], volume 22, London: Bradbury and Evans, […], OCLC 2057953:
- Indeed, calamity is welcome to women if they think it will bring truant affection home again: and if you have reduced your mistress to a crust, depend upon it that she won’t repine, and only take a very little bit of it for herself, provided you will eat the remainder in her company.
- 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314:
- Serene, smiling, enigmatic, she faced him with no fear whatever showing in her dark eyes. […] She put back a truant curl from her forehead where it had sought egress to the world, and looked him full in the face now, drawing a deep breath which caused the round of her bosom to lift the lace at her throat.
truant (plural truants)
- (intransitive) To play truant.
- the number of schoolchildren known to have truanted
- (transitive) To idle away; to waste.
- To idle away time.
- 1876, James Russell Lowell, “Milton”, in Among My Books: Second Series:
- By this means they lost their time and truanted on the fundamental grounds of saving knowledge.