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Itinerant vs Peripatetic vs Ambulatory vs Ambulant vs Nomadic vs Vagrant

Itinerantperipateticambulatoryambulantnomadicvagrant mean having no fixed or settled station but moving from place to place.

Itinerant is applicable chiefly to individuals or to groups whose calling or office requires travel along a circuit or route.

Peripatetic may be applied to activities carried on while walking or moving about or to persons moving about on foot or more often traveling from place to place.

Sometimes, and often with a light or whimsical note, the word suggests restlessness or an unsettled state or being constantly on the go.

Ambulatory and ambulant both basically imply a relation to walking and may be close synonyms of pedestrian, but more often they stress, as pedestrian does not, ability to walk or capability of walking as distinguished from the fact or practice of walking.

When applied to things, ambulatory and ambulant imply lack of fixity especially in physical station or occasionally (as in legal usage) in immaterial qualities; thus, the provisions of a will are ambulatory so long as the testator is alive and legally competent to alter them.

Nomadic is applicable to individuals, but is more often used to designate groups or tribes of men who have no fixed place of residence but wander, according to season or food supply or the needs of their means of livelihood, from one place or region to another.

Vagrant (see also vagrant n under VAGABOND )) as applied to human beings stresses lack of a fixed place of residence but unlike nomadic is applicable typically to individuals rather than to groups; in this use it commonly lacks the pejorative quality of the corresponding noun.

But in its more common application to things vagrant usually stresses the slight, fleeting, ephemeral quality of what is vaguely wandering rather than either firmly fixed or following a fixed course.