itinerant

itinerant adj Itinerant, peripatetic, ambulatory, ambulant, nomadic, vagrant mean having no fixed or settled station but moving from place to place.
Itinerant is applicable chiefly to individuals or to groups whose calling or office requires travel along a circuit or route
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an itinerant player

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an itinerant merchant

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an advantage itinerant preachers have over those who are stationary, the latter cannot well improve their delivery of a sermon by so many rehearsals— Franklin

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a parcel of shabby, itinerant tattooers, who . . . stroll unmolested from one hostile bay to another— Melville

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a lazy, vagabondish, itinerant farmer, moving from one failure to another— Hendrick

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Peripatetic may be applied to activities carried on while walking or moving about
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peripatetic teaching

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peripatetic habits, favorable to meditation— Carlyle

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or to persons moving about on foot
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they demand a peripatetic spectator; one must see this group from all angles to realize the purpose of the sculptor— Upjohn

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or more often traveling from place to place
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that peripatetic digester of continents, John Gunther, has at last come home— Fadiman

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he was a peripatetic firebrand. He had to be. Any area in which Mann was active was soon, for various reasons, too hot to hold him— Mallon

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Sometimes, and often with a light or whimsical note, the word suggests restlessness or an unsettled state or being constantly on the go
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his camera is never aimlessly peripatetic: either there is some important action that must be observed or Brook invents fresh and interesting groupings— Knight

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Winchester rather than London was regarded as the official capital of the peripatetic monarchy—Trevelyan

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our peripatetic Scot has apparently ended his fictional travels and is now shorebound— Barkham

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Ambulatory and ambulant both basically imply a relation to walking and may be close synonyms of pedestrian
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ambulatory exercise

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an ambulant traveler

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but more often they stress, as pedestrian does not, ability to walk or capability of walking as distinguished from the fact or practice of walking
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ambulatory patients treated at the clinic

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he seemed an ambulant variety of cactus standing strangely in our way— Sampley

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When applied to things, ambulatory and ambulant imply lack of fixity especially in physical station
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an ambulant radio station

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small ambulatory businesses

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or occasionally (as in legal usage) in immaterial qualities; thus, the provisions of a will are ambulatory so long as the testator is alive and legally competent to alter them.
Nomadic is applicable to individuals
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he merely walked off and set out upon a nomadic career, finding work where he could— Lindner

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but is more often used to designate groups or tribes of men who have no fixed place of residence but wander, according to season or food supply or the needs of their means of livelihood, from one place or region to another
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the Bedouins are a nomadic tribe found in the deserts of Arabia, Syria, and North Africa

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a system that compels a large segment of labor to be nomadic, trailing endlessly from end to end of the country— G. W. Johnson

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Vagrant (see also vagrant n under VAGABOND) as applied to human beings stresses lack of a fixed place of residence but unlike nomadic is applicable typically to individuals rather than to groups; in this use it commonly lacks the pejorative quality of the corresponding noun
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the humility with which this vagrant and utterly original genius turned to them for wisdom— Sinclair Lewis

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I must go' down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life— Masefield

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But in its more common application to things vagrant usually stresses the slight, fleeting, ephemeral quality of what is vaguely wandering rather than either firmly fixed or following a fixed course
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to catch vagrant currents of air, door and window flaps were propped open— Heiser

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nature itself in its vagrant moods and infinite variety— Schlesinger d. 1965

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her mind, called vagrant, is like a butterfly, seemingly fragile and even awkward in erratic flight— Beck

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tasks too vagrant or too taxing ever to have been accomplished— Hilton

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the great increase in numbers of vagrant boys during the depression

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Analogous words: wandering, roving, rambling, straying, roaming, ranging (see WANDER): moving, shifting (see MOVE vb)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • itinérant — itinérant, ante [ itinerɑ̃, ɑ̃t ] adj. • 1874; angl. itinerant, lat. itinerari « voyager » 1 ♦ (Chez les méthodistes) Pasteur itinérant, qui va de lieu en lieu prêcher la doctrine (opposé à pasteur sédentaire). 2 ♦ Cour. Qui se déplace dans l… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • itinerant — ITINERÁNT, Ă, itineranţi, te, adj. Care se deplasează din loc în loc pentru a desfăşura o anumită activitate, pentru a exercita o anumită profesiune. – Din fr. itinérant. Trimis de valeriu, 21.07.2003. Sursa: DEX 98  itineránt adj. m., pl.… …   Dicționar Român

  • itinerant — I adjective ambulant, ambulatory, passing, peripatetic, journeying, moving, traveling, wandering, wayfaring associated concepts: itinerant dealer, itinerant merchant, itinerant trader, itinerant vendor II noun drifter, peripatetic, traveler,… …   Law dictionary

  • itinerant — Ⅰ. itinerant UK US /aɪˈtɪnərənt/ adjective [before noun] ► travelling from place to place, usually for work: itinerant labourers/workers/workforce »The precise number of the itinerant workforce currently in London is not known. »an itinerant life …   Financial and business terms

  • Itinerant — I*tin er*ant ([ i]*t[i^]n [ e]r*ant), a. [LL. itinerans, antis, p. pr. of itinerare to make a journey, fr. L. iter, itineris, a walk, way, journey. See {Errant}, {Issue}.] Passing or traveling about a country; going or preaching on a circuit;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • itinerant — [ī tin′ərənt, i tin′ərənt] adj. [LL itinerans, prp. of itinerari, to travel < L iter (gen. itineris), a walk, journey < base of ire, to go: see YEAR] traveling from place to place or on a circuit n. a person who travels from place to place… …   English World dictionary

  • Itinerant — I*tin er*ant, a. One who travels from place to place, particularly a preacher; one who is unsettled. [1913 Webster] Glad to turn itinerant, To stroll and teach from town to town. Hudibras. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • itinerant — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ travelling from place to place. ► NOUN ▪ an itinerant person. ORIGIN from Latin itinerari travel , from iter journey, road …   English terms dictionary

  • itinérant — itinérant, ante (entrée créée par le supplément) (i ti né ran, ran t ) adj. Dans le méthodisme, prédicateurs itinérants, prédicateurs qui vont de lieu en lieu prêcher la parole de Dieu. ÉTYMOLOGIE    Lat. itinerare, voyager …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • itinerant — (adj.) 1560s (attested in Anglo Latin from late 13c.), from L.L. itinerantem (nom. itinerans), prp. of itinerare to travel, from L. iter (gen. itineris) journey, from ire go (see ION (Cf. ion)). Originally in reference to circuit courts …   Etymology dictionary

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