stray

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stray in

1. To wander in(to some place), especially when one is not supposed to be there. Make sure not to leave the back doors open, or feral cats will stray in during the night. Some child strayed in the laboratory and began fiddling with the sensitive machinery inside.
2. To wander aimlessly around some place. A noun or pronoun can be used between "stray" and "in." Don't let the children stray in the forest, or they will surely get lost. We were just idly straying in the field, admiring the silence of the falling snow.
See also: stray

stray into (some place)

To wander into some place, especially when one is not supposed to be there. Make sure not to leave the back doors open, or feral cats will stray in during the night. Some child strayed in the laboratory and began fiddling with the sensitive machinery inside.
See also: stray

stray on

1. To wander on(to something or some place), especially when one is not supposed to be there. I keep an electrified fence around my fields to keep wild animals from straying on at night. Be sure not to stray on Old Man Cratchit's land—he's liable to shoot you if he catches you!
2. To wander around on some area or piece of land. We spent the afternoon straying idly on the beach. I watched the kids straying on the field across the street, trying to catch the falling snow on their tongues.
See also: on, stray

stray onto (some place)

To wander onto something or some place, especially when one is not supposed to be there. I keep an electrified fence around my fields to keep wild animals from straying onto it at night. Be sure not to stray onto Old Man Cratchit's land—he's liable to shoot you if he catches you!
See also: stray

stray round

An errant bullet or similar charge of ammunition. A stray round from the firefight in the street ended up shattering Mrs. Davis's window. How many lives in this neighborhood have been claimed by stray rounds, huh? The violence needs to stop!
See also: round, stray

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Nazirah, who has about 50 cats under her care at home, has been helping the stray animals for more than four years.
Stray dogs may be pets that have wandered off or been abandoned by their owners, or they may be feral animals that have never been owned.
In a presentation conducted during an extraordinary meeting at the Northern Municipal Council yesterday, officials said citizens from all four governorates have been reporting official complaints with a hotline (17155363) dedicated to tackling the rise in the stray dogs population.
Both Michalis Papadakis -- the municipality's man in charge of dealing with strays -- and a spokesperson from the Nicosia Dog Shelter claim that the stray dog issue for the municipalities in close proximity to the buffer zone is somewhat under control.
A NEW and improved home for stray dogs has been opened in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Attacks by stray dogs are becoming more common in the area, the source added.
"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).
Young adults who want a story of more than an animal rescue or a sixteen-year-old's angst will find Strays a compelling saga.
anyone who nds a stray not to take it to their local police station, e local authority has urged anyone who nds a stray not to take it to their local police station, as the police are only responsible for dealing with dangerous dogs.
Sources also confirmed that several relatives of patients also complained to the L- G about attacks by stray.
This is a drop compared to the previous year, when 575 stray dogs were picked up by dog wardens.
It is also an opportunity to socialise and by giving our strays greater purpose it provides them with a more secure future, so people can also feel the rewards of helping the animals and a charity.
Despite all strays now being micro-chipped, some have been unable to be reunited with their owners and remain in care.
Healthy cats aren't generally presented as strays but vets often have to deal with injured or sick cats brought in by worried members of the public.
Spay Day is an annual campaign to inspire people to save animal lives by spaying or neutering pets and stray animals.