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Straggle   /strˈægəl/   Listen
Straggle

verb
(past & past part. straggled; pres. part. straggling)
1.
Wander from a direct or straight course.  Synonyms: depart, digress, sidetrack.
2.
Go, come, or spread in a rambling or irregular way.  Synonym: sprawl.



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"Straggle" Quotes from Famous Books



... thin, fat—every class between clerks and tramps; every condition between prosperity and destitution. A procession was also constantly flowing from the hospital to the quartermaster's stores—the same procession, with one military touch; for this time the men did not straggle, but were marched single file in charge of a sergeant. The next procession was from the stores to the men's quarters; but now each man had a great bundle under his arms containing his entire kit ...
— The Relief of Mafeking • Filson Young

... business; we went daily under fire to satisfy our appetite, and put our head in the loin's mouth for a piece of bread. Sometimes, to minimise the risk, we would all dismount before we came in view of the house, straggle in severally, and give what orders we pleased, like disconnected strangers. In like manner we departed, to find the cart at an appointed place, some half a mile beyond. The Colonel and the Major had each a word or two of English—God help their ...
— St Ives • Robert Louis Stevenson

... people were there, Max and Dudley having been pressed into the service of filling cardboard drums with sweets for what Max called "the everlasting tree." The tree itself stood in a corner of the room, a colossal but lop-sided plant with a lamentable tendency to straggle about the lower branches, and an inclination to run to weedy and unnecessary length about ...
— The Wharf by the Docks - A Novel • Florence Warden

... Lyn and the West Lyn foam down to the little beach, and the prodigal flowering of bushes and shrubs. Follow the East Lyn up to Watersmeet, which is about two miles from Lynmouth through one of the most beautiful wooded gorges in England. Past the hotels you go, and a little straggle of small modern houses, past the untidy little patch which would be the suburb of a larger community, with upturned boats and washing drying in the sun, and within five minutes a turn of the road hides Lynmouth and the sea from your backward look, and you stand ...
— Lynton and Lynmouth - A Pageant of Cliff & Moorland • John Presland

... see any use in that, they haven't any milk, or wool either. Let them stand still as they are. They've been worked to their full value; all the fruit has dropped off of them already. Don't you see how they straggle along aimlessly, alone, untended? Why, I do believe they're dumb with age; they don't even bleat at being away from the rest of the flock. They seem perfectly harmless—just silly. Let's go back ...
— Amphitryo, Asinaria, Aulularia, Bacchides, Captivi • Plautus Titus Maccius

... in the late autumn the dangers of the St. Lawrence are great. He lay before Quebec for just a week and on the 23d of October sailed away. It was late in November when his battered fleet began to straggle into Boston. The ways of God had not proved as simple as they had seemed to the Puritan faith, for the stronghold of Satan had not fallen before the attacks of the Lord's people. There were searchings of heart, recriminations, and financial ...
— The Conquest of New France - A Chronicle of the Colonial Wars, Volume 10 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • George M. Wrong

... called "hills;" and wood of fair growth,—one reads of "beech-avenues" of "high linden-avenues:"—a country rather of the ornamented sort, before the Prince with his improvements settled there. Many lakes and lakelets in it, as usual hereabouts; the loitering waters straggle, all over that region, into meshes of lakes. Reinsberg itself, Village and Schloss, stands on the edge of a pleasant Lake, last of a mesh of such: the SUMMARY, or outfall, of which, already here a good strong brook or stream, ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. X. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—At Reinsberg—1736-1740 • Thomas Carlyle

... carrying a share of the provisions, commenced to follow the shore of Aotea Bay. From prudential motives they did not allow themselves to straggle, and by instinct they kept a look-out over the undulating plains to the eastward, ready with their loaded carbines. Paganel, map in hand, took a professional pleasure in ...
— In Search of the Castaways • Jules Verne

... on according to the regular routine; the fresh men were all drawn up now, armed, the order given, and the relieved tramped into the guard-room and soon began to straggle out again, eager to troop over to a kind of buttery-hatch by the great kitchen, where a mug of milk and a hunch of bread for a refresher would be waiting for distribution, by Lady ...
— The Young Castellan - A Tale of the English Civil War • George Manville Fenn

... with intense but never brilliant light. A low, gentle voice inquired the road and distance marched that day. "Keazletown road, six and twenty miles." "You seem to have no stragglers." "Never allow straggling." "You must teach my people; they straggle badly." A bow in reply. Just then my creoles started their band and a waltz. After a contemplative suck at a lemon, "Thoughtless fellows for serious work" came forth. I expressed a hope that the work would not be less well done because of the gayety. A return to the lemon ...
— Destruction and Reconstruction: - Personal Experiences of the Late War • Richard Taylor

... who was always talking about Mayorga and Rueda and Bennyventy.) 'We made the rear-guard, under General Paget, and drove the French every time; and all the infantry did was to sit about in wine-shops till we whipped 'em out, an' steal an' straggle an' play the tom-fool in general. And when it came to a stand-up fight at Corunna, 'twas the horse, or the best part of it, that had to stay sea-sick aboard the transports, an' watch the infantry in the thick o' the caper. Very well they behaved, too; 'specially the ...
— Wandering Heath • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... to see her an' her folks but I reckon ye'll have yer hands full to-day," he remarked. "Ye don't need no scout on that kind o' reconnoiterin'. You go on ahead an' git through with yer smackin an' bym-by I'll straggle in." ...
— In the Days of Poor Richard • Irving Bacheller

... am now bold to present Gismund to your sights, and unto yours only, for therefore have I conjured her, by the love that hath been these twenty-four years betwixt us, that she wax not so proud of her fresh painting, to straggle in her plumes abroad, but to contain herself within the walls of your house; so am I sure she shall be safe from the tragedian tyrants of our time, who are not ashamed to affirm that there can no amorous poem savour of any sharpness ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VII (4th edition) • Various

... places, flowered fields, where the buttercups crowd their little varnished cups, and the vigilant ox-eyes are already wakefully staring up from among the grass-spears; a little wood; a deep and ruddy-colored lane, along whose unpruned hedges straggle the riches of the wild-rose, most delicately flushed, as if God in passing had called her very good, and she had reddened at his praise; where the honey-suckle, too, is holding stilly aloft the open cream-colored trumpets ...
— Nancy - A Novel • Rhoda Broughton

... cross behind me, I want that transport to deceive him. He would never dream of it being unprotected. He cannot be in any strength; besides, I shall want every mounted man I have got for my scheme. The transport, ox and mule, must take its chance. But see that it doesn't straggle. The mule can keep up with us as long as possible, but it must keep together. Likewise the ox-transport, taking its own time, must keep closed up. I assure you the only object of these people on this journey will be to ...
— On the Heels of De Wet • The Intelligence Officer

... the flitter closer to the ground so that when a domed structure arose out of a tangle of overgrown shrubs and trees they were not more than fifty feet above it. There was no sign of life about the dwelling, if dwelling it was, and the unkempt straggle of growing things suggested that it had been left to itself through more than one season. Lablet wanted to set down and explore, but the captain was intent upon reaching the city. A solitary farm was of little value compared with what they might learn from a metropolis. So, rather to Raf's relief, ...
— Star Born • Andre Norton

... vocal labours) followed after, and last of all came such of the dead man’s friends and relations as could keep up with such a rapid procession; these, especially the women, would get terribly blown, and would straggle back into the rear; many were fairly “beaten off.” I never observed any appearance of mourning in the mourners: the pace was too severe for ...
— Eothen • A. W. Kinglake

... beyond them gave definite signs of yielding. It had evidently been stopped on the far side and now advanced nowhere, showed no longer a malign yellow crest, but only rolling sullenly heavenward a diminishing cloud of smoke. The fire-fighters began to straggle back across the burned tract towards the road, their eyeballs gleaming white ...
— The Bent Twig • Dorothy Canfield

... hand on his, as if beseeching him to forgo his irony, which hurt her. They sat silent for some time. The sheep broke their cluster, and began to straggle back to the upper side of ...
— The Trespasser • D.H. Lawrence

... and more variegated omnium-gatherum was never assembled. They had already begun to straggle in when I arrived. There were long-haired and spectacled doctrinaires from New England, spliced by short-haired and stumpy emissaries from New York—mostly friends of Horace Greeley, as it turned out. There were brisk Westerners from Chicago and St. ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... an old chateau, and used as a sort of summer resort by Warsaw people, was nothing but blackened chimneys and heaps of brick. The Russians had burned everything, and the inhabitants, who had fled into the pines, were just now beginning to straggle back. Some had set up little stands in front of their burned houses and were trying to sell apples, plums, pears, about the only marketable thing left; some were cleaning brick and trying to rebuild, some contented themselves with roofing ...
— Antwerp to Gallipoli - A Year of the War on Many Fronts—and Behind Them • Arthur Ruhl

... staircases, with quaintly framed prospects, and solemn vistas opening at every turn across the lowland. One of these views might be selected for especial notice. In front, irregular buildings losing themselves in country as they straggle by the roadside; then the open post-road with a cypress to the right; afterwards, the rich green fields, and on a bit of rising ground an ancient farmhouse with its brown dependencies; lastly, the blue ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Second Series • John Addington Symonds

... dykes began to straggle up the hill. The fields they enclosed were rushy and dotted with whinns, but they got smoother and presently he came to stubble and belts of plowing. Then he turned into a good road and saw rows of lights that got gradually brighter in the valley ahead. It had been dark some time when ...
— Carmen's Messenger • Harold Bindloss

... Theatres." Had she made it clear that the masterpieces lack either an easy mode of identification or a theme popular for this generation, she would be wholly right in saying that this "explains why the people straggle into the Metropolitan by twos and threes and struggle into the Rialto and Rivoli by hundreds. The twos and threes look at a picture in the Art Museum for less than ten minutes—unless they chance ...
— Public Opinion • Walter Lippmann

... mast, the swineherd who has most assistants and the best help at his disposal, when collecting his own animals drives off his neighbours' also. Some times, too, a thief lies in wait and drives them off without the swineherd knowing how he has lost them, because the beasts straggle a long way from their drivers in their eagerness to find acorns, when they are just ...
— Roman Farm Management - The Treatises Of Cato And Varro • Marcus Porcius Cato

... walked boldly toward them. They moved aside, forming a reluctant lane. Some of the Zeudians in the rear shoved to close in on them, but the ones in front held them back. It wasn't until the two were nearly through that the lane began to straggle into a threatening circle around them again. The Zeudians were evidently becoming reassured by the fact that Wichter continued to see all right in spite of the little strange creature's alarming act ...
— Astounding Stories, April, 1931 • Various

... recognised that this retreat was unassailable; their plan of a night attack had failed; but they did not lose the hope that they held the Romans at their mercy. The fight had become a blockade; they would coop the Romans within their narrow limits, or force them to straggle on their way under a renewal of the same merciless assault. To have withstood the legions and occupied their ground, was itself a triumph for Gaetulians and Moors. They spread their long lines round ...
— A History of Rome, Vol 1 - During the late Republic and early Principate • A H.J. Greenidge

... developed, enabling thousands to enjoy the last frontier. And it is amazing, how, in this short time, wild life has increased within the borders of the park. Beavers have returned, their dams and houses are along every stream; deer and elk straggle along the trails to welcome wide-eyed visitors; upon the promontories curious, friendly mountain sheep are regal silhouettes against ...
— A Mountain Boyhood • Joe Mills

... she took the letters: "I'll wager my hat, which is my most precious possession," she said, "that the one with the beautifully written address comes from the 'clod-hopper,' and the 'straggle' from ...
— A Daughter of the Land • Gene Stratton-Porter

... nine or ten o'clock to bring them down the mountain, but they were finally compelled to leave them. Much of the baggage also remained on the side of the mountain, with the pack-mules and horses conveying them, all efforts to force the animals down being fruitless. The men continued to straggle into the camp until a late hour of the night;—some crept under the shelving rocks and did not come in until the next morning. We were so fortunate as to find our tent, and after much difficulty pitched it under an oak-tree. All efforts to light a fire and keep it blazing proving abortive, ...
— What I Saw in California • Edwin Bryant

... the "newtakes" straggle up Cosdon's eastern flank and mark a struggle between man and the giant beacon, Chris Blanchard rested a while upon the grass by the highway. Tim, wrapped in a shawl, slept soundly beside his mother, and she sat with her elbows on her ...
— Children of the Mist • Eden Phillpotts

... catena, chain; caliga, calga; chause, chausse, French, hose; extinguo, stand, squench, quench, stint; foras, forth; species, spice; recito, read; adjuvo, aid; [Greek: aion], aevum, ay, age, ever; floccus, lock; excerpo, scrape, scrabble, scrawl; extravagus, stray, straggle; collectum, clot, clutch; colligo, coil: recolligo, recoil; severo, swear; stridulus, shrill; procurator, proxy; pulso, to push; calamus, a quill; impetere, to impeach; augeo, auxi, wax; and vanesco, vanui, wane; syllabare, to spell; puteus, pit; granum, corn; comprimo, ...
— A Grammar of the English Tongue • Samuel Johnson

... Equal? They ain't my equal, none of 'em, man to man. All men are born free an' equal, says the Constitution an' by-laws of this country of ours. Granted. But they don't stay that way long. They're all lined up to toe the mark on the start, but watch 'em straggle afore they've run a tenth ...
— A Man to His Mate • J. Allan Dunn

... rose," said her governess. "And do you notice how fragrant they are? The tree is always low and crooked, just as you see it, and the branches straggle not very gracefully. The under part of the dark-green leaves is whitish and downy-looking, and the flowers are handsome enough to warrant the cultivation of the tree just for their sake, but the large golden fruit is much prized for preserves, and in the autumn a small tree laden down with it is ...
— Among the Trees at Elmridge • Ella Rodman Church

... the boy as they turned to go, Phil leading the way to the car number eleven, from which the performers were beginning to straggle, rubbing their eyes ...
— The Circus Boys Across The Continent • Edgar B. P. Darlington

... followed hers, roaming over the little flower plot in search of room for the geranium, which did not appear; prince's feather and marigolds so choked up the ground where balsams did not straggle over it. Molly looked as Daisy did at the possibilities of the case, looked again at the strange sweet little face which was so busy in her garden; and then made a sudden movement. With two or three motions of hands and knees she drew herself a few steps back to one of the exclusive bunches ...
— Melbourne House • Elizabeth Wetherell



Words linked to "Straggle" :   deviate, depart, distribute, straggler, grouping, divert, spread, group, straggly, sprawl, sidetrack



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