Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

stray - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [intransitive]     stray pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlestraying
past tensestrayed
past participlestrayed
Related words
  1. 1
    to move around without thinking
    stray to:

    Her eyes strayed to the clock on the wall.

  2. 2
    to move away from the correct place or path

    Hikers are reminded not to stray from the path.

    The airplane strayed into Chinese airspace.

  3. 3
    to move away from a particular subject, usually without meaning to

    The book has strayed from the truth.



a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play