Errant vs Itinerant - What's the difference?

errant | itinerant |

As adjectives the difference between errant and itinerant

is that errant is straying from the proper course or standard, or outside established limits while itinerant is which travels to perform its functions.

As a noun itinerant is

a homeless person.



Alternative forms

* (l) (obsolete)


(en adjective)
  • Straying from the proper course or standard, or outside established limits.
  • * Sir Thomas Browne
  • seven planets or errant stars in the lower orbs of heaven
  • Prone to making errors.
  • (proscribed) Utter, complete (negative); arrant.
  • * Ben Jonson
  • would make me an errant fool

    Usage notes

    Sometimes is considered simply an alternative spelling and pronunciation of errant', though many authorities distinguish them, reserving '''errant''' to mean “wandering” and using it ''after'' the noun it modifies, notably is “knight '''errant ”, while using ''arrant'' to mean “utter”, in a negative sense, and ''before'' the noun it modifies, notably in “''arrant knaves”. Etymologically, arrant arose as a variant of errant , but the meanings have long since diverged. Both terms are archaic, primarily used in set phrases (which may be considered ), and are easily confused, and on that basis some authorities suggest against using either.



    Derived terms

    * (l) * (l)


    * “ arrant/errant”, Common Errors in English Usage, Paul Brians * On Language: Arrant Nonsense, (William Safire), January 22, 2006, (New York Times) * Merriam–Webster’s dictionary of English usage, 1995, “errant, arrant”, pp. 406–407


    * ----




    (en adjective)
  • Habitually travelling from place to place.
  • an itinerant preacher or peddler
  • * Blackstone
  • The king's own courts were then itinerant , being kept in the king's palace, and removing with his household in those royal progresses which he continually made.


    (en noun)
  • One who travels from place to place.
  • (Ireland) a member of the Travelling Community, whether settled or not.