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From Middle English vagraunt (wandering about), from Anglo-Norman wakerant, wacrant, walcrant (vagrant), Old French wacrant, waucrant (wandering about), present participle of wacrer, waucrer, walcrer (to wander, wander about as a vagabond), from Frankish *walkrōn (to wander about), frequentative form of *walkōn (to walk, wander, trample, stomp, full), from Proto-Germanic *walkōną, *walkaną (to twist, turn, roll about, full), from Proto-Indo-European *walg-, *walk- (to twist, turn, move). Cognate with Old High German walchan, walkan (to move up and down, press together, full, walk, wander), Middle Dutch walken (to knead, full), Old English wealcan (to roll), Old English ġewealcan (to go, walk about), Old Norse valka (to wander), Latin valgus (bandy-legged, bow-legged). More at walk.


vagrant (plural vagrants)

  1. A person without a home or job.
  2. A wanderer.
    Every morning before work, I see that poor vagrant around the neighborhood begging for food.
  3. (ornithology) A bird found outside its species’ usual range.


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Derived terms[edit]



vagrant (comparative more vagrant, superlative most vagrant)

  1. Moving without certain direction; wandering; erratic; unsettled.
    • Prior
      That beauteous Emma vagrant courses took.
    • Macaulay
      While leading this vagrant and miserable life, Johnson fell in love.
  2. Wandering from place to place without any settled habitation.
    a vagrant beggar