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TUESDAY, SEPT. 11, 2012, 2:01 A.M.

A Word A Day — stravage

September 11, 2012

Word of the Day

  • stravage
  • audio pronunciation
  • \struh-VAYG\



"I was living at Gray's Inn in those days, and we stravaged up Gray's Inn Road on one of those queer, unscientific explorations of the odd corners of London in which I have always delighted." — From Arthur Machen's 1922 novella The House of Souls

"Eleanor sees widowed Lindsay and single-mother Paula stravaging along the streets with their respective children, Noah and Toby, and invites them in...." — From a book review by Lucille Redmond in the Evening Herald (Ireland), January 10, 2009


A synonym of "roam," "wander," and "ramble," "stravage" (also spelled "stravaig") isn't likely to pop up in your local newspaper—unless you're stravaging in Scotland or one of its neighbors. "Stravage" is not a new word; our earliest evidence of it dates to the late 18th century, when it likely developed by shortening and alteration from the now-archaic word "extravagate," a synonym for "stray" and "roam" that can also mean "to go beyond proper limits." Note that if you use it correctly, you won't be extravagating by using "stravage"—no matter where you call home.

From Merriam-Webster Online at

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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.