Definition of vagrant in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvāɡrənt/


1A person without a settled home or regular work who wanders from place to place and lives by begging.
Example sentences
  • When Stern bought his first camera in 1948, he wandered around the Bowery in Chinatown, photographing vagrants.
  • I wandered down dirty streets, past vacant looking vagrants, and across a railway line. All was dark and dusty.
  • The brilliant camera work sympathetically follows him from street corners where he shares a dazed smoke with a couple of wrinkled vagrants to a silent pond where his exhausted mind conjures up startling hallucinations.
street person, homeless person, tramp, hobo, drifter, down-and-out, derelict, beggar;
itinerant, wanderer, nomad, traveler, vagabond, transient
informal bag lady, bum
literary wayfarer
1.1 archaic A wanderer.
Example sentences
  • Though he be a vagrant and wanderer, he knows that which must be done to heal this place.
  • It's one of those movies that celebrates vagrants at the expense of people who are settled down in life, but then expects us to be happy when the main vagrants in the story all decide to settle down at the end.
  • Of the Mayflower colonists at Plymouth there were only 35 members of an identifiable Puritan congregation, with 67 other migrants ranging from entrepreneurs to vagrants.
1.2 Ornithology A bird that has strayed or been blown from its usual range or migratory route. Also called accidental.
Example sentences
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoos are officially considered extirpated in Washington, and the occasional sightings are vagrants.
  • The nesting population in North America may not be self-sustaining, and is supplemented by an influx of European vagrants.
  • Snowy Plovers are rare vagrants to eastern Washington in April and May.


1Characteristic relating to or living the life of a vagrant: vagrant beggars
More example sentences
  • There was a vagrant family living there and when I asked them what this place was, they said it was a Jewish school for children.
  • She has a group of friends, all vagrant children eking out a living doing odd jobs, from boot polishing to selling flowers to rag-picking.
  • John Pounds’ work with vagrant children led to the Ragged School movement and began the concept of a universal education for all.
1.1Moving from place to place; wandering: vagrant whales
More example sentences
  • Even the Hudson seems crystalline, vagrant chunks of ice drifting spectrally out to sea.
  • I must go down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life.
  • I have to find my vagrant husband for the next dance, and I expect to see you two out there, too.
1.2 literary Moving or occurring unpredictably; inconstant: the vagrant heart of my mother
More example sentences
  • One vagrant breath of wind can ruin an entire weekend.
  • The moon glows like a phosphrous on the vagrant waters.
  • A son's love is a vagrant thing and may be given and refused without reason.



Example sentences
  • Diffused surface water flowing vagrantly over the surface of the ground is not considered to be public water.
  • If all of these people are simply reading, why aren't they vagrantly loitering at a library?
  • No person shall vagrantly loiter, lounge or sleep in or on the streets.


Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French vagarant 'wandering around', from the verb vagrer.

Words that rhyme with vagrant

flagrant, fragrant

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: va·grant

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