American English

Definition of stray verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they stray
    he / she / it strays
    past simple strayed
    -ing form straying
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  1. 1[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) to move away from the place where you should be, without intending to He strayed into the path of an oncoming car. Her eyes kept straying over to the clock on the wall. His hand strayed to the telephone. He can't have strayed far. I strayed a few blocks in the wrong direction and became hopelessly lost.
  2. 2[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) to begin to think about or discuss a different subject from the one you should be thinking about or discussing My mind kept straying back to our last talk together. We seem to be straying from the main theme of the debate. The conversation had begun to stray into dangerous territory.
  3. 3[intransitive] (of a person who is married or in a relationship) to have a sexual relationship with someone who is not your usual partner It had never occurred to her that her husband might stray while he was away on business.
  4. Idioms
    stray from the path
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    to behave or think in ways that are not acceptable to the people around you He's an artist who chose to stray from the path.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: stray