Definition of errant in US English:

errant

adjective

  • 1humorous, formal Erring or straying from the proper course or standards.

    ‘he could never forgive his daughter's errant ways’
    • ‘The issue is that while we are willing to accept the errant ways of noted figures, are we similarly willing to accept the errant ways of those not notable?’
    • ‘I remember when Lady Moon famously distributed her errant husband's expensive wine collection to the neighbours.’
    • ‘To check whether an errant husband is spending whole nights with his mistress in another house, the detectives need to perform long-term surveillance from an inconspicuous location.’
    • ‘It's not too difficult to imagine an errant chainsaw blade hitting precisely the right spot with precisely the right angle with which to sever.’
    • ‘Today most women in her position would show their errant husband the door and not many, if any, would agree to bring up the child her husband fathered to the local barmaid.’
    • ‘Of course, this errant stupidity helped force Zapatero's hand and have him bring the troops home.’
    • ‘It could be caused by an errant husband lost to alcoholism, not unfamiliar given the fact that Goan liquor, distilled from coconut palm and from the cashew fruit, and called feni, is both potent and cheap.’
    • ‘Shortly after that, the errant husband saw reason and Fathima was happily re-united with her husband and three children.’
    • ‘In due course the errant professor is brought to his knees by a cabal of the politically correct together with other members of the faculty who hate him for more directly personal reasons.’
    • ‘Unless we punish errant husbands, this abuse will continue.’
    • ‘One day, while cutting wood Jerry Sr. lopped off a finger from his right hand with an errant axe blow.’
    • ‘Mai, a forty-year-old school teacher, strives to make a normal life for herself and her children, despite her trauma at having to cope with an errant husband and interfering extended family.’
    • ‘As with John Hartson's dismissal in the Scottish Cup tie between these two sides last Monday, an errant Celtic player was guilty of rank stupidity.’
    • ‘Lesser women would have cut their errant husband adrift.’
    • ‘Watching in a Glasgow dump is her errant husband Jimmy, who heads to Nottingham, cash in hand from his latest theft, to try to rekindle the past.’
    • ‘That explains, in part, his decision last week to pardon the errant scientist.’
    • ‘His mother, it transpired, had not approved of her husband's errant cousin either.’
    • ‘We never know what Miss Trotwood's married name was, nor her errant husband's Christian name.’
    • ‘This is funny because of the errant values Bob has accumulated over the course of his miserable life, and because of the extreme situation to which it is applied.’
    • ‘Not only did Monica fear for her family, she also had little privacy, because golfers often would hop their short backyard fence to search for errant shots.’
    offending, guilty, culpable, misbehaving, delinquent, lawless, lawbreaking, criminal, transgressing, aberrant, deviant, erring, sinning
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Zoology (of a polychaete worm) of a predatory kind that moves about actively and is not confined to a tube or burrow.
      • ‘It’s a reproductive form of an errant polychaete worm.’
      • ‘This red errant polychaete was about 7 or 8 cm long.’
  • 2literary, archaic often postpositive Traveling in search of adventure.

    ‘that same lady errant’
    See also knight errant
    • ‘They were the only ones who saw daylight unhampered by collar and chain, let out to gather even more gullible strays and errant pets into a pack to be corralled, sacked, and dumped into the kennel.’
    • ‘Still, he managed to get a sat-phone call to the U.S. embassy in Kabul, informing them of three errant Americans.’
    • ‘Also, the child's errant behaviour is largely a result of the parents' failure to prepare said child to behave respectfully in a learning environment.’
    • ‘No search parties are sent out for the errant travellers.’
    • ‘The guardian thinks she's supposed to be cool and calm, indifferent and impartial, a door to keep out errant knights and travellers, but she's still steamed about being stuck down here.’
    • ‘Thus it was that five minutes later he was wandering down the hall in search of his errant best friend.’
    travelling, wandering, itinerant, journeying, rambling, roaming, roving, drifting, floating, wayfaring, voyaging, touring
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English (in errant (sense 2)): errant (sense 1) from Latin errant- ‘erring’, from the verb errare; errant (sense 2) from Old French errant ‘traveling’, present participle of errer, from late Latin iterare ‘go on a journey’, from iter ‘journey’. Compare with arrant.

Pronunciation

errant

/ˈerənt//ˈɛrənt/