- 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[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[intransitive] (of a person who is married or in a relationship) to have a sexual relationship with somebody who is not your usual partner It had never occurred to her that her husband might stray while he was away on business. Word Origin Middle English: shortening of Anglo-Norman French and Old French estrayer (verb), Anglo-Norman French strey (noun), partly from astray.Extra examples He never strayed far from his home. Her eyes strayed involuntarily. Her thoughts strayed to the journey ahead of her. His eyes strayed to the telephone. The animals hadn’t strayed too far. The teachers rarely stray away from the approved textbook. new penalties for owners who allow their dogs to stray
BrE BrE//streɪ//; NAmE NAmE//streɪ//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they stray
BrE BrE//streɪ//; NAmE NAmE//streɪ//he / she / it strays
BrE BrE//streɪz//; NAmE NAmE//streɪz//past simple strayed
BrE BrE//streɪd//; NAmE NAmE//streɪd//past participle strayed
BrE BrE//streɪd//; NAmE NAmE//streɪd//-ing form straying
BrE BrE//ˈstreɪɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈstreɪɪŋ//