Adjective "Straggling" definition and examples

(Straggling may not be an adjective, but it can be used as an adjective, click here to find out.)



Definitions and examples


(of an irregular group of people) move along slowly so as to remain some distance behind the person or people in front.
  1. 'the straggling crowd of refugees'
  2. 'He said that 200 people had crowded into a tiny makeshift ticket office in the association's downtown Shanghai office when sales began, but only a handful of customers straggled in on Monday morning.'
  3. 'The ladies were left to straggle after them, a varied procession up the trail.'
  4. 'I'm fairly sure they were deliberately straggling so they could get the prize for coming last.'
  5. 'Of the 500,000 men who marched into Russia in June anticipating an easy victory, 20,000 straggled to safety six months later.'
  6. 'They can watch us sitting in the draught at the door of the hall with a hat collecting pound coins as villagers straggle in to watch the latest show.'
  7. 'As I have gone around York as a resident I have noticed school teachers allowing children to straggle across pavements and even try to cross busy roads without using the main crossings.'
  8. 'We could see a group straggling behind, and then things got nasty; this was when several people were arrested and police dogs were used.'
  9. 'Over the next few minutes three more students straggled in.'
  10. 'As the group straggled in, curious as to why they were contacted, they saw that Ken and Amy were already sitting at the table.'
  11. 'Even as the fort took shape they attacked army and emigrant trains, stole livestock, and killed careless travelers who straggled too far from large groups.'
  12. 'Greasy wisps of hair straggled across the girl's face and her skinny fingers were smudged black.'
  13. 'Her sari was torn, her hair straggling, her fingernails ruined.'
  14. 'Only three sadhus, with straggling long hair and fierce beards, were immediately identifiable; the rest, we learned later, consisted of servants and assorted bhakts who had attached themselves to the temple.'
  15. 'The crowds that gathered at the top of the Royal Mile, and then straggled out, down towards Holyrood, had come for the bands and the performers, but not noticeably to applaud the process they were meant to be celebrating.'
  16. 'His grey hair hangs to his shoulders; his little goatee beard straggles around his chin.'
  17. 'You can also use these scissors to trim any straggling hairs.'
  18. 'Look to the vines; if there is an abundance of long straggling growths, cut some of them out, leaving those you will want for cutting back in the autumn.'
  19. 'So when the door swings open, I wonder who this man is with the long, straggling grey hair and the face that looks like it has been in a long brawl with life.'
  20. 'The colours are deftly placed, the flaunting red of the carnation answering the scarlet of the nasturtiums straggling on the plinth below.'
  21. 'I slicked my wet hair back, clearing the straggling tresses from my face.'


An untidy or irregularly arranged mass or group.
  1. 'The epicentre of Kerala's spice trade is the dusty straggle of rickety warehouses and open-fronted shops known as Jewtown.'
  2. 'He first appeared at Wimbledon in 1972, winning the junior title, a lanky Swedish youth with a straggle of blond brown hair.'
  3. 'I've already seen straggles of protestors winding past my hotel, which isn't even close, so it will be interesting to see what the numbers are like - or what the police are like.'
  4. 'Thea asks why she cut her hair - the straggle has been replaced with a close crop.'
  5. 'Worth visiting amongst a plethora of architectural gems are the palace, the tollbooth and the abbey but most enjoyable of all, are the little houses, randomly set against each other in an untidy straggle up the winding lanes.'
  6. 'Elisabeth found herself with a straggle of colonists in a mosquito-ridden, uncleared jungle where sandflies bored into the skin of the feet and the clay soil was so intractable that nothing would grow.'
  7. 'Seven years ago, Margaret and Iain bought a straggle of tumbledown farm buildings on a south-facing hillside at Glecknabae in the north of the island.'
  8. 'My wet hair is plastered to my head, a bright, reddish, waterlogged mass clouding my head in wet straggles.'
  9. 'Her bedraggled black hair falls in soggy straggles around her face and shoulders.'
  10. 'Too suddenly over the park came evening to tinge a straggle of clouds and bring fresh intensities to the still green trees.'

More definitions

1. to stray from the road, course, or line of march.

2. to wander about in a scattered fashion; ramble.

3. to spread or be spread in a scattered fashion or at irregular intervals: The trees straggle over the countryside.

More examples(as adjective)

"hedgerows can be straggling on sides."

"hairs can be straggling as beggars."

"hairs can be straggling."

"villages can be straggling."

"voters can be straggling."

More examples++


(straggle)Late Middle English: perhaps from dialect strake ‘go’.