stray ( strays plural & 3rd person present) ( straying present participle) ( strayed past tense & past participle )
1 verb If someone strays somewhere, they wander away from where they are supposed to be.
Tourists often get lost and stray into dangerous areas... V prep/adv
A railway line crosses the park so children must not be allowed to stray. V
2 adj A stray dog or cat has wandered away from its owner's home.
...a refuge for stray cats.
Stray is also a noun., n-count
The dog was a stray which had been adopted.
3 verb If your mind or your eyes stray, you do not concentrate on or look at one particular subject, but start thinking about or looking at other things.
Even with the simplest cases I find my mind straying... V
4 adj You use stray to describe something that exists separated from other similar things.
An 8-year-old boy was killed by a stray bullet..., She shrugged a stray lock of hair out of her eyes.
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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"