Definition of vagabond in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvaɡəbɒnd/


1A person who wanders from place to place without a home or job.
Example sentences
  • Vagabond Tales is loosely based around the adventures of a musical vagabond who travels around the world and through time to bring different kinds of music back to the traveling minstrels of Barrage.
  • A group of vagabonds and derelicts inhabit a shelter in Moscow, presided over by a fanatical leader who preaches the love of everyone for everyone.
  • I am a dogged traveler, the determined vagabond.
itinerant, wanderer, nomad, wayfarer, traveller, gypsy, rover, tramp, vagrant, drifter, transient, migrant, homeless person, derelict, beachcomber, down-and-out, beggar, person of no fixed address/abode, knight of the road, bird of passage, rolling stone;
North American  hobo;
Australian  bagman, knockabout, overlander, sundowner, whaler
informal bag lady
North American informal bum, bindlestiff
South African informal outie
Australian/New Zealand informal derro
1.1 informal, dated A dishonest or unprincipled person.
Example sentences
  • We can't afford first time grants for houses, but we can afford €60m to buy an ego boosting plane for the vagabonds who squandered the boom years.
  • The husband arranges her marriage with a person who is considered a vagabond.
  • According children V.I.P treatment only helps to groom rogues and vagabonds in the long term.


Having no settled home: a vagabond poacher
More example sentences
  • Well these visions unfold in front of me like a play put on by a traveling band of vagabond gypsies.
  • And he was there, the vagabond journeyman sorcerer that had seized what must have seemed a reasonable opportunity at the time.
  • Block out the sight of vagabond children hawking tat at traffic intersections.
itinerant, wandering, nomadic, travelling, ambulatory, mobile, on the move, journeying, roving, roaming, vagrant, transient, floating, migrant, migrating, migratory;
refugee, displaced, homeless, rootless;
drifting, unsettled, footloose;
of no fixed address/abode
archaic errant


[no object] archaic
Wander about as or like a vagabond: he went vagabonding about the world
More example sentences
  • At home most of the time, I would bundle my baby in his stroller and go vagabonding as and when the weather would allow.
  • Perhaps not coincidentally, Amelia's vagabonding seems to have run across a few stops of the National Air Races which were underway at the same time.
  • He vagabonded his way to Paris and immediately settled into a bohemian life.



Pronunciation: /ˈvaɡəbɒndɪdʒ/
Example sentences
  • I could not understand why so often, in the literature of vagabondage, the vagrant beggar was described as a hypocrite.
  • After many years of vagabondage he was found mysteriously drowned in a Venetian canal in 1772.
  • There followed seventeen years of sectarian vagabondage: founded in 1830, the sect settled in Kirtland, Ohio, Jackson, Missouri, and Nauvoo, Illinois, reaching Great Salt Lake Valley, Utah, in 1847.


Middle English (originally denoting a criminal): from Old French, or from Latin vagabundus, from vagari 'wander'.

  • vague from mid 16th century:

    A number of English words descend from Latin vagari ‘to wander’ and vagus ‘wandering’. In the 16th century vague applied the idea of a ‘wandering’ mind to someone who cannot think or communicate clearly. A vagabond (Middle English) was originally just a vagrant (Late Middle English), someone who roams from place to place without a settled home, until it acquired the additional suggestion of ‘an unprincipled or dishonest man’. Before it came to refer to impulsive changes or whims, as in ‘the vagaries of fashion’, vagary (late 16th century) was used to mean ‘to wander’.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: vaga|bond

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