Definition of roam in English:



  • 1 Move about or travel aimlessly or unsystematically, especially over a wide area.

    ‘tigers once roamed over most of Asia’
    ‘roaming elephants’
    • ‘While she was roaming around the store with clothing in hand, her frustrated husband went to the center aisle and yelled, ‘Help!’’
    • ‘The chickens and turkeys also roam freely in the fields, eating bugs, grasses, and grains.’
    • ‘He roamed, visiting South America, the Middle East, finally Africa in search of something.’
    • ‘Previously, the only way to see where cattle roam was to have people watch them, which is expensive.’
    • ‘Anywhere he roams, she is there, a reminder of the fragility of his heart and of his sham relationships.’
    • ‘Not only do the GPS units track where the cattle roam, they also monitor head movements, thus indicating whether the cattle are eating, sleeping, or just walking.’
    • ‘Try tying clear fishing filament between a couple stakes at various heights where the deer are likely to roam.’
    • ‘The film-making, which is claustrophobic and closely tied to the heat of the moment, puts us alongside him as he roams about his apartment and the reform school where he works.’
    • ‘Throughout my childhood, the hills with the unique catsteps formations were simply a wonderful place to roam.’
    • ‘So Wang Lung roams around the courts, staying away from Lotus who will be able to tell when a man is restless.’
    • ‘In an outbreak, well over 100,000 of the flightless crickets roam across the land, devouring crops, grasses, and ornamentals as they go.’
    • ‘The Festival Committee, however, thought it necessary to underline the visitors' right to roam.’
    • ‘Obliged to work for his living from the age of 8, Gorky roamed all over Russia.’
    • ‘Overall, the choreography is enhanced by images of animals roaming in the wild.’
    • ‘I just can't have a stranger roaming around my property at night.’
    • ‘It houses a remarkable collection of animals - most kept, as one might expect in such a civilized country, in large enclosures in which they can roam about with some semblance of freedom.’
    • ‘When it was purchased by a different zoo, it was to be placed in a natural environment where it could roam more freely.’
    • ‘Then the 11 sows and their litters can roam throughout each room.’
    • ‘This is a site you could spend a week roaming around, finding information about nearly everything about architecture.’
    • ‘He discovers a terrible secret that drives him back home, but with samurai and bandits roaming all over the country, will his return be too late?’
    stroll, saunter, amble, wend one's way, trudge, plod, hike, tramp, trek, march, stride, troop, patrol, step out, wander, ramble, tread, prowl, footslog, promenade, traipse
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    1. 1.1[with object]Travel unsystematically over, through, or around (a place)
      ‘gangs of youths roamed the streets unopposed’
      • ‘Dogs are present throughout the street series, roaming the streets and sniffing the gutters.’
      • ‘You will need to spend a couple of weeks roaming the labyrinth - but the rewards are likely to be quite high.’
      • ‘‘As a boy, I spent every moment I could roaming the oak-studded hills of Northern California where I was raised,’ he said.’
      • ‘Frankie is the leader of a skinhead gang, roaming the streets, getting into bar fights and trashing the occasional record store.’
      • ‘Reporters roamed the district singly and in packs.’
      • ‘Charlie roams the streets at night and goes into movie theaters, craving human interaction.’
      • ‘A sightless masseur who roams 19th-century Japan fighting injustice, he is easy to love and hard to kill.’
      • ‘Apart from roaming the jungles and photographing wildlife, fishing is the other great passion of the author.’
      • ‘Rich argues that Western grasslands need the presence of large ungulates, like the bison that once roamed the plains.’
      • ‘Previously they roamed Britain in their hundreds of thousands.’
      • ‘For three nights in a row, the ghost of King Hamlet has been witnessed roaming the grounds at midnight.’
      • ‘Jones says growers ‘will roam their fields while on their cell phones to the commodity markets in Chicago,’ and attempt to bring home a financial windfall.’
      • ‘The young St. Louis artist often roams the aisles of building-supply centers in search of ideas.’
      • ‘Later that night, the boys see him roaming the old house as if in a trance.’
      • ‘At this National Natural Landmark, remains of mammoths that roamed North America 26,000 years ago are preserved.’
      • ‘The Delaware roamed the fields and woods of the Northeastern United States for many centuries before white Europeans came to the shores of the New World.’
      • ‘I roamed the woods and fields, absorbed in the sounds and sights of each season.’
      • ‘Actively cultivating relationships, she freely roamed the village streets, visiting from house to house.’
      • ‘His tweed-clad, mainly male cast of characters roam the countryside and become embroiled in bizarre, nonsensical occurrences.’
      • ‘His interests, however, were not confined to optical recording but also included his emotional reaction to roaming the streets at night.’
      wander, rove, ramble, meander, drift, maunder
      walk, traipse
      range, travel, tramp, traverse, trek through
      knock about, knock around, cruise, mosey, tootle
      pootle, swan
      perambulate, peregrinate, circumambulate, vagabond
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    2. 1.2(of a person's eyes or hands) pass lightly over something without stopping.
      ‘her eyes roamed over the chattering women’
      [with object] ‘he let his eyes roam her face’
      • ‘My eyes roamed restlessly around the room looking for something to look at.’
      • ‘His concept was to pinpoint the exact intersection of every latitude and longitude line in South Africa, and standing on that point, let his eye roam until it framed an image he wished to record on camera.’
      • ‘It was obvious from where he slouched at the bar and where his eyes roamed that he was a pepper man.’
      • ‘She felt uncomfortable as he stared at her, his eyes roaming all over her body.’
      • ‘Her eyes roamed around before landing on the face that looked more emotional than others.’
      • ‘Gehry designed a visually active rather than passive interior: the lines of the balconies loop the hall so that the eye roams the space in continuous movement.’
      • ‘Cathy couldn't help but allow her eyes to roam over his body.’
    3. 1.3(of a person's mind or thoughts) drift along without dwelling on anything in particular.
      ‘he let his mind roam as he walked’
      • ‘She taught me to let my imagination roam freely.’
      • ‘One of the people who encouraged him to let his imagination roam was his friend, Pierre.’
      • ‘Let your imagination roam freely over the facts you have collected.’
    4. 1.4Use a mobile phone on another operator's network, typically while abroad.
      ‘packages in which you pay a slightly higher fee when roaming on other networks’
      ‘Orange now allows Pay As You Go mobile phone customers to roam in the US’


  • [in singular] An aimless walk.


Middle English: of unknown origin.