Etymology
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rove (v.)

"to wander with no fixed destination," 1530s (earliest sense was "to shoot arrows at a mark selected at pleasure or at random," late 15c.); possibly a Midlands dialectal variant of northern English and Scottish rave "to wander, stray," from Middle English raven "to wander, stray, rove" (late 14c.). This is probably from Old Norse rafa "to wander, rove." Or it might be from Old French raver, a late 15c. variant of resver "to stray" (see rave (v.)). Influenced by rover, if not in part a back-formation from it. Related: Roved; roving.

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rover (n.2)

"one who wanders or rambles," especially to a great distance, 1610s, agent noun from rove (v.). Meaning "remote-controlled surface vehicle for extraterrestrial exploration" is from 1970.

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straggle (v.)
early 15c., "to wander from the proper path, stray, to rove from one's companions," perhaps from a Scandinavian source (compare dialectal Norwegian stragla "to walk laboriously"), or a frequentative of Middle English straken "to move, go." Specifically of soldiers, "be dispersed, be apart from the main body," from 1520s. Related: Straggled; straggling.
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inerrant (adj.)
1650s, in reference to "fixed" stars (as opposed to "wandering" planets), from Latin inerrantem (nominative inerrans) "not wandering, fixed (of stars)," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + errans, present participle of errare "to wander, stray, roam, rove" (see err). Meaning "unerring, free from error" is from 1785.
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aberration (n.)
Origin and meaning of aberration

1590s, "a wandering, act of straying," from Latin aberrationem (nominative aberratio) "a wandering," noun of action from past-participle stem of aberrare "to wander out of the way, lose the way, go astray," literally and figuratively, from ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + errare "to wander, stray, roam, rove" (see err). Meaning "deviation from the normal type" is attested by 1735.

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shag (v.2)
in baseball, "to go after and catch" (fly balls), by 1913, of uncertain origin. Century Dictionary has it as a secondary sense of a shag (v.) "to rove about as a stroller or beggar" (1851), which is perhaps from shack (n.) "disreputable fellow" (1680s), short for shake-rag, an old term for a beggar.
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aberrant (adj.)
"wandering from the usual course," 1798, originally in natural history, "differing somewhat from a group in which it is placed," from Latin aberrantem (nominative aberrans), present participle of aberrare "to wander away, go astray," literally and figuratively, from ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + errare "to wander, stray, roam, rove" (see err). Related: Aberrance; aberrancy (1660s). The verb aberrate is rare.
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prowl (v.)

late 14c., prollen, "rove or wander in a stealthy manner, move about in search of something," a word of unknown origin, with no known cognates. Spelling with -w- is from 1500s (compare bowls), but the word was pronounced "prôll" till late 18c. Transitive meaning "go stealthily over, as one in search of prey or plunder" is recorded by 1580s. Related: Prowled; prowling. The noun, in on the prowl, is attested from 1803.

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maraud (v.)

"to rove in quest of plunder, make an excursion for booty," especially of organized bands of soldiers, etc., 1711, from French marauder (17c.), from maraud "rascal" (15c.), a word of unknown origin, perhaps from French dialectal maraud "tomcat," echoic of its cry.

A word popularized in several languages during the Thirty Years' War (Spanish merodear, German marodiren, marodieren "to maraud," marodebruder "straggler, deserter") by punning association with Count Mérode, imperialist general. Related: Marauded; marauding.

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behoove (v.)

Old English behofian "to have need of, have use for," verbal form of the ancient compound word represented by behoof (q.v.). From c. 1200 as "be fit or meet for, be necessary for," now used only in the third person, with it as subject. Related: Behooved; behooving.

Historically, it rimes with move, prove, but being now mainly a literary word, it is generally made to rime with rove, grove, by those who know it only in books. [OED]
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