Waif and stray

A piece of live property - cow or sheep - found without an apparent owner, which became the lord of the *manor's if it was not claimed within a customary period of time.

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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  • waif and stray — noun Strayed property (see n above) • • • Main Entry: ↑waif …   Useful english dictionary

  • waif — (n.) late 14c., unclaimed property, flotsam, stray animal, from Anglo Norm. waif, gwaif (early 13c.) ownerless property, probably from a Scandinavian source akin to O.N. veif waving thing, flag, from P.Gmc. *waif , from PIE *weip to turn,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • waif — ► NOUN ▪ a homeless and helpless person, especially a neglected or abandoned child. DERIVATIVES waifish adjective. ORIGIN originally in waif and stray, denoting a piece of property found and, if unclaimed, falling to the lord of the manor: from… …   English terms dictionary

  • waif — noun a homeless and helpless person, especially a neglected or abandoned child. ↘a person who appears thin or poorly nourished. Derivatives waifish adjective waiflike adjective Word History Waif comes from Old Northern French gaif, which was… …   English new terms dictionary

  • waif — I. noun Etymology: Middle English weif, waif, from Anglo French, from waif, adjective, stray, unclaimed, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse veif something flapping, veifa to be in movement more at wipe Date: 14th century 1. a. a… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • waif´like´ — waif «wayf», noun, adjective. –n. 1. a person without home or friends, especially a homeless or neglected child. SYNONYM(S): foundling. 2. anything without an owner; stray thing or animal. SYNONYM(S): estray. 3. Nautical. waft2. 4. Obs …   Useful english dictionary

  • Waif — Waif, n. [OF. waif, gaif, as adj., lost, unclaimed, chose gaive a waif, LL. wayfium, res vaivae; of Scand. origin. See {Waive}.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Eng. Law.) Goods found of which the owner is not known; originally, such goods as a pursued thief… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Waif — The word waif (from the Old French guaif , stray beast)Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/waif (accessed: June 02, 2008)] refers to a living creature removed, by hardship, loss or other… …   Wikipedia

  • stray — stray1 [streı] v [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: estraier, from [i]Vulgar Latin extragare, from Latin extra outside + vagari to wander ] 1.) to move away from the place you should be stray into/onto/from ▪ Three of the soldiers strayed… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • stray — 1 verb (I) 1 to leave the place where you should be without intending to: a warship that had strayed into enemy waters 2 to begin to deal with a different subject than the main one, without intending to: stray into/onto sth: We re straying into… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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