C14: of uncertain origin; perhaps related to strake and stretch
straggle for learners of EnglishPowered by COBUILD (strægəl)
Word forms: straggles, straggling, straggled
If people stragglesomewhere, they move there slowly, in small groups with large, irregular gaps between them. [V prep/adv] ⇒ They came straggling up the cliff road. [V prep/adv] ⇒ The other boys straggled away, some to their work in the kitchen, some to the great hall.
If a small quantity of things straggle over an area, they cover it in an uneven or untidy way. [V prep] ⇒ Her grey hair straggled in wisps about her face. [V-ing] ⇒ They were beyond the last straggling suburbs now.
It was a straggle of houses along the main road to Maddingleigh.Ferrars, Elizabeth THE OTHER DEVIL'S NAMESomewhere in these three or four streets, or in the straggle of cottages beyond, was presumably the Partridges ' cottage.Barnard, Robert POLITICAL SUICIDEWe passed through a straggle of houses with the smell of oil from olivepresses.Brierley, David SKORPION'S DEATH`We're coming," Hilary called and then said to him, `Let's straggle behind.Elliott, Sumner Locke FAIRYLAND