Definition of vagabond in English:

vagabond

noun

  • 1A person who wanders from place to place without a home or job.

    • ‘Vagabond Tales is loosely based around the adventures of a musical vagabond who travels around the world and through time to bring different kinds of music back to the traveling minstrels of Barrage.’
    • ‘A group of vagabonds and derelicts inhabit a shelter in Moscow, presided over by a fanatical leader who preaches the love of everyone for everyone.’
    • ‘I am a dogged traveler, the determined vagabond.’
    • ‘He writes about artisans, peasants, the rural poor, vagabonds, and beggars.’
    • ‘We're just vagabonds, traveling from one place to another.’
    • ‘Elizabethan England faced a mounting economic problem as the poor became poorer, and a growing army of vagabonds and beggars roamed the streets and countryside.’
    • ‘A decree of Napoleon in 1808 sent vagabonds to prison and beggars to dépôts de mendicité where they were subjected to forced labour.’
    • ‘I worked at a racetrack, picked fruit, traveled about as a vagabond.’
    • ‘Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Eleanor cared for a succession of hoboes, vagabonds, and bums who called at the back door of the large house the family owned on Hamond Street in Chicago.’
    • ‘Beggars, vagabonds, prostitutes, and criminals occupied the bottom of this social order, and might have made up as much as 10 to 20 per cent of the urban population.’
    • ‘Three categories of poor were subsequently recognized: sturdy beggars or vagabonds, regarded as potential trouble-makers, the infirm, and the deserving unemployed.’
    • ‘I was walking to my campus, it was in 1985, when I saw the body of a vagabond not far from the campus entrance gate.’
    • ‘Those who died on the Marina beach included fishermen, vagabonds, rag-pickers etc. who either had no home to go to or were out doing their bit to earn enough for one proper meal a day.’
    • ‘Where have they gone, those loafing heroes of folk song, those vagabonds who roam from one mill to another and bed down under the stars.’
    • ‘He then became a vagabond, initially sleeping on the streets or wherever he could find shelter.’
    • ‘Judging by the clothing quality, the individual looked like a vagabond.’
    • ‘He had found her, a run away vagabond, on the side of the road.’
    • ‘He is, says his biographer, ‘an old-fashioned theatrical vagabond, travelling light’.’
    • ‘The carnie is no longer a punchline for a joke but a vanishing breed of vagabond that triggers wanderlust nostalgia, not thoughts of syphilis and criminal misdeeds.’
    • ‘Every European country legislated against vagrancy, often insisting that vagabonds should be returned to their parish of origin, and if necessary whipped or branded to deter them from trying again.’
    itinerant, wanderer, nomad, wayfarer, traveller, gypsy, rover, tramp, vagrant, drifter, transient, migrant, homeless person, derelict, beachcomber, down-and-out, beggar, person of no fixed abode, person of no fixed address, knight of the road, bird of passage, rolling stone
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    1. 1.1informal, dated A dishonest or unprincipled person.
      • ‘We can't afford first time grants for houses, but we can afford €60m to buy an ego boosting plane for the vagabonds who squandered the boom years.’
      • ‘The husband arranges her marriage with a person who is considered a vagabond.’
      • ‘According children V.I.P treatment only helps to groom rogues and vagabonds in the long term.’
      • ‘I don't attract a clientele of vagabonds and rogues and scurrilous types with evil motives.’
      • ‘She got married one lunchtime and didn't tell her parents until she was four months pregnant, because my father was an actor, and actors then were kind of vagabonds, you know.’
      scoundrel, villain, rogue, rascal, brute, animal, weasel, snake, monster, ogre, wretch, devil, good-for-nothing, reprobate, wrongdoer, evil-doer
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adjective

attributive
  • Having no settled home.

    ‘a vagabond poacher’
    • ‘Block out the sight of vagabond children hawking tat at traffic intersections.’
    • ‘I suppose if I were a journalist with some newspaper's or magazine's code of ethics, instead of being a vagabond poet, I might have to be careful about accepting even pens and calendar.’
    • ‘The extent of his acting ability is further shown in his portrayal of his own vagabond jazz trombonist father.’
    • ‘The Inn was full of vagabond sailors and people who worked about Cabana Bay.’
    • ‘He could not survive on his own, a vagabond dog on the run.’
    • ‘I was a vagabond disk jockey on small stations with little income at age 30.’
    • ‘Born in Texas, and named by an Indian mystic, Devendra is a vagabond artist in the purest sense of the word.’
    • ‘One advantage the vagabond angler has is the knowledge gained by casting over different venues.’
    • ‘I can't quit my job and become a vagabond anti-imperial rebel at this stage of my life.’
    • ‘A vagabond black crow which was found wandering in Kimberley Road a few days ago, is now lodging at the Queen's Park Zoo until someone claims him - for he appears to be a pet.’
    • ‘Niche travel, which is the category we vagabond surfers fall under, is available online too.’
    itinerant, wandering, nomadic, travelling, ambulatory, mobile, on the move, journeying, roving, roaming, vagrant, transient, floating, migrant, migrating, migratory
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verb

[no object]archaic
  • Wander about as or like a vagabond.

    ‘he went vagabonding about the world’
    • ‘At home most of the time, I would bundle my baby in his stroller and go vagabonding as and when the weather would allow.’
    • ‘Perhaps not coincidentally, Amelia's vagabonding seems to have run across a few stops of the National Air Races which were underway at the same time.’
    • ‘He vagabonded his way to Paris and immediately settled into a bohemian life.’
    • ‘The most savvy travellers I know log onto this site as they vagabond.’
    • ‘I think she was happy vagabonding with the couple.’
    wander, roam, rove, range, travel, travel idly, journey, voyage, globetrot, drift, coast, meander, gad about, gallivant, jaunt, take a trip, go on a trip
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Origin

Middle English (originally denoting a criminal): from Old French, or from Latin vagabundus, from vagari ‘wander’.

Pronunciation

vagabond

/ˈvaɡəbɒnd/