stray cat meaning, stray cat definition | English Cobuild dictionary

Collins

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.  
ADJ n  
...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.   (=wander)  
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.  
ADJ n  
An 8-year-old boy was killed by a stray bullet..., She shrugged a stray lock of hair out of her eyes.     
Translation English - Cobuild Collins Dictionary  
See also:

stay, streaky, straw, strap

Collaborative Dictionary     English Cobuild
exp.
expression used to describe an attempt to organize a difficult or unpredictable situation; trying to coordinate a group of people who tend to act chaotically
[Bus.] E.g: Some say that managing a team is herding cats.
id.
rain very heavily
Idiomatic expression. "The weather was really bad yesterday. It was raining cats and dogs all day."

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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"