• WordNet 3.6
    • v straggle go, come, or spread in a rambling or irregular way "Branches straggling out quite far"
    • v straggle wander from a direct or straight course
    • n straggle a wandering or disorderly grouping (of things or persons) "a straggle of outbuildings","a straggle of followers"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Straggle The act of straggling.
    • Straggle To be dispersed or separated; to occur at intervals. "Straggling pistol shots.""They came between Scylla and Charybdis and the straggling rocks."
    • Straggle To escape or stretch beyond proper limits, as the branches of a plant; to spread widely apart; to shoot too far or widely in growth. "Trim off the small, superfluous branches on each side of the hedge that straggle too far out ."
    • Straggle To wander at large; to roam idly about; to ramble. "The wolf spied out a straggling kid."
    • Straggle To wander from the direct course or way; to rove; to stray; to wander from the line of march or desert the line of battle; as, when troops are on the march, the men should not straggle .
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • straggle To roam or wander away, or become separated, as from one's companions or the direct course or way; stray.
    • straggle To roam or wander at random, or without any certain direction or object; ramble.
    • straggle To escape or stretch out ramblingly or beyond proper limits; spread widely apart; shoot too far in growth.
    • straggle To be dispersed; be apart from any main body; stand alone; be isolated; occur at intervals or apart from one another; occur here and there: as, the houses straggle all over the district.
    • straggle To rough-dress (a stone for grinding) by a wriggling motion of the dressing-tool, so as to give a roughened surface; rag.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Straggle strag′l to wander from the course: to ramble: to stretch beyond proper limits: to be dispersed
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Freq. of OE. straken, to roam, to stroke. See Stroke (v. t.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
For strackle, freq. of M. E. straken—A.S. strícan, to go.


In literature:

Horsemen, carriages, and pedestrians followed them in straggling procession.
"Boy Woodburn" by Alfred Ollivant
The rest had been killed or wounded, or were straggling, and plundering in his rear our allies and the French themselves.
"History of the Expedition to Russia" by Count Philip de Segur
With many a straggling wild-flower shall be dressed.
"The Poetical Works of William Lisle Bowles, Vol. 1" by William Lisle Bowles
Here and there a village of straggling cottages met the eye, clustering round their little church.
"The Danvers Jewels, and Sir Charles Danvers" by Mary Cholmondeley
If we straggle, we are lost.
"Under Drake's Flag" by G. A. Henty
Far away, in some distant part of the straggling town, a sweet-toned bell sounded the hour of an evening church service.
"The Colonel's Dream" by Charles W. Chesnutt
It was the mine that had made the straggling settlement of Ophir a possibility.
"Frank Merriwell, Junior's, Golden Trail" by Burt L. Standish
Stacy Brown, however, was still on the other side with the straggling cattle which were coming along in small bunches.
"The Pony Rider Boys in Texas" by Frank Gee Patchin
The Indianians have been returning from the summit all day, straggling along in squads of from three to a full company.
"The Citizen-Soldier" by John Beatty
The moon was now going down, and straggling shadows began to fall upon the water.
"The Rifle Rangers" by Captain Mayne Reid

In poetry:

Lonely clouds that fill the sky,
Dull and ever shifting;
Lonely trees that straggle high,
Barren limbs uplifting;
"Lonely Land" by Robert A Donaldson
For each dim form of marble rare,
Bent a wind-broken reed;
So hangs on autumn-field, long-bare,
Some tall and straggling weed.
"A Book of Dreams: Part II" by George MacDonald
First was he to sing the praise
Of the Powow's winding ways;
And our straggling village took
City grandeur to the look
Of its poet Morrison.
"Abram Morrison" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Seated on a craggy rock, What aged man appears!
There is no hind, no straggling flock;
Comes the strange shade my thoughts to mock,
And shake my soul with fears?
"The Harp Of Hoel" by William Lisle Bowles
I DREDGE my soul for buried memories.
The pomp of perished ages, once divine,
Breaks dawn-like over realms that gleam and shine
Mysterious through dark straggling forest trees.
I dream, and I become the lord of Time;
"An Elegy" by E J Rupert Atkinson
The spring shall visit thee again,
Itchin! and yonder ancient fane,
That casts its shadow on thy breast,
As if, by many winters beat,
The blooming season it would greet,
With many a straggling wild-flower shall be dressed.
"On Leaving Winchester School" by William Lisle Bowles

In news:

As the first sunburned visitors straggled toward his small trailer, lugging bulky backpacks and vinyl bags, the Jordanian border official placed a stack of free postcards on the shelf in front of him.
Arcades are dead, but the fighting-games community has straggled on without them, via gaming meet-ups in stores, bars, and basements.
The survivors of a Sea of Cortez fishing trip that turned deadly have straggled home to Northern California with harrowing tales of being lost at sea for hours.
My guests straggled through the door, some in tears.
The last polls have straggled in, and show little sign of mercy for John McCain.
The Baltic birch roller is sturdy enough to tote a teddy bear, rubber ball, The Runaway Bunny, and straggling toys along the way.
"They are straggling in," Brunetti said.

In science:

The study of the charge collected in single pixel clusters for tracks at normal incidence determines the straggling function in our sensor.
Performance of prototype BTeV silicon pixel detectors in a high energy pion beam
The definition of a range is complicated because of the multiple Coulomb scattering in the material and catastrophic energy loss processes (both ignored in Eq. (4.37)), which cause the particle to follow a zigzag path through the absorber and lead to substantial range straggling.
Study of accelerator neutrino interactions in a liquid argon TPC
The straggling function (Landau distribution), f , for the energy loss, ∆, can then be determined for all track segments, x, and βγ (f (∆) = f (∆, βγ , x)).
Particle Identification Studies with an ALICE Test TPC
In that way all straggling functions (and associated truncated mean distributions) can be approximated by one straggling function (here denoted g for generic) and a table of two parameter scaling variablesa .
Particle Identification Studies with an ALICE Test TPC
From the tracks the cluster charge straggling function, f (Q), was measured, and the “truncated mean” distribution, C , was derived track by track from the average of the 60% lowest cluster charges.
Particle Identification Studies with an ALICE Test TPC