Vagabond and vagrant

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Vagabond and vagrant are two words that mean the same thing. They are synonyms. However, these two words carry different connotations. A connotation is a feeling or meaning a word evokes beyond its literal meaning. We will examine the definition of vagabond and vagrant, the connotations of these words, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A vagabond is a wanderer, someone who travels aimlessly from place to place, without a home or a job. The term vagabond carries the connotation of a carefree and careless person. While it is usually not desirable to be a vagabond, the word does carry a romantic idea of living outside of the rat race. Vagabond is used as a noun or an adjective. The word vagabond is derived from the Latin word vagabundus, meaning wandering around.

A vagrant is also someone who has no home or job, but the word carries the connotation of a freeloader, someone who takes advantage of society and is breaking the law. Vagrant is also used as a noun or an adjective. The word vagrant is derived from the French word vagarant which means wandering around.


A man was sentenced to one year in prison after he admitted to theft and living as a vagabond, the police said in a statement. (The Malta Independent)

They took what amounted to a year abroad, during which they traveled the world (while working remotely) to see what their expenses would be like and to test whether they would be happy living the vagabond life in retirement. (Fortune Magazine)

A historian has shed new light on a little-known series of Victorian murders, from the Earl of Lucan’s mistress found stuffed in a cupboard to a family wiped out by a vengeful vagrant. (The Daily Mail)

A Karmo Grade 1 Area Court in Abuja yesterday sentenced a vagrant, Abubakar Usman, 26, to one year imprisonment for stealing a cell phone worth N42, 000. (The Nation)