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waifs and strays

People or animals that are in need of a place to stay. "Waif" commonly refers to a person or animal that has been abandoned. It's heartbreaking to see so many waifs and strays wandering the city streets, with no one to care for them.
See also: and, stray

stray (away) (from something)

to drift away from or wander away from a particular topic or location. (The option elements cannot be transposed.) Please don't stray from the general area of discussion. Sally strayed away from her topic a number of times.

stray in(to something)

to wander into something. The deer strayed into the town and ruined almost everyone's garden. We left the gate open, and the cows strayed in and drank from the pond.
See also: stray

stray onto something

to wander onto an area, such as a parcel of land. Your cows strayed onto my land and ate my marigolds! If your horse strays onto my land one more time, it's my horse!
See also: stray

ˌwaifs and ˈstrays

1 people with no home, especially children in a big city: There are lots of waifs and strays living on the streets here.
2 (humorous) lonely people with nowhere else to go: My wife is always inviting various waifs and strays from work to our house. She seems to attract them.
See also: and, stray
References in periodicals archive ?
However, animal rights campaigners have launched a petition titled 'Save Stray Dogs of Bahrain - Please Adopt, Don't Kill' on change.
Those who find a stray dog can take it to the Hope Rescue Centre in Llanharan at any time of the day, any day of the week.
What people do not see is that strays help the environment.
The southern city of Tyre has also been suffering a long time problem with stray dogs.
Authorities are acting as if they give no importance to the life of people," said Chittilappilly, who is also the chairman of the Stray Dog-Free Movement (SDFM).
Sources also confirmed that several relatives of patients also complained to the L- G about attacks by stray.
This is also a drop compared to the previous year, when 315 stray dogs were found.
Strays have always been a problem and this allows us to use them as an asset.
He said: " We know that many dogs are bought as Christmas presents, so we hope that people can give a stray dog the gift of a loving home.
Spay Day is an annual campaign to inspire people to save animal lives by spaying or neutering pets and stray animals.
Officials at the charity said, one of the most effective ways of reducing the number of strays, inserting microchips in pets, helped reunite 30% of stray dogs with their owners last year.
THE NICOSIA Municipality has launched a campaign of spaying stray cats.
REGARDING the text from a worried animal lover about problems finding an agency to collect a stray dog, all strays are the responsibility of the local authority and dealt with by their dog warden service.
Between March 2005 and April 2006, some 6,222 strays in the region were rescued from the streets, compared to 7,584 for the previous 12 months.