Astray Vs Estray. What is the difference between them?

Astray or Estray
Choose the correct word-
These dogs are ..........(astray/estray).
See the answer below.

Can you guess the difference between astray and estray?
If not, check our post to know the difference with a mind trick.

Astray vs. Estray, Astray or Estray  learn with mind trick

What is the meaning of Astray?
Astray means to go in the wrong direction, path, way, road, or route.
  1. In spite of the fact that they had map of the city, they went astray.
  2. My dogs has gone astray.
In figurative sense, it means going away from what is right or desirable, or going against moral value.
  1. Our leader has gone astray because of money.

Then, what is Estray?
Estray means a person or animal that has lost its path or identity. A wandering animal whose owner is unknown or an animal that has escaped from its owner is called estray.
In old days, estray was used as verb to mean to stray. Now this definition has become outdated.

So, what is the difference between Astray and Estray?
There is no difference in their meaning. The only difference is that astray is used as an adjective and adverb and Estray is used as a noun.
  • "My son has gone astray." Here, astray works as an adverb.
  • "I met my astray dog." Here, astray works as an adjective.
  • "These animals are estray." Here, word estray is a noun.

What our Expert says:
According to Eric Patridge (Usage and Abusage: A Guide to Good English):
Astray is adjective and adverb, as in 'The animal is astray' or, usually, 'The animal has gone astray'. Estray is a noun, as in 'That cow is an estray' (it is lost or has gone astray) and a legal verb, 'to roam, ot wander, to stray'. And whereas estray is used only literally, astray has also a figurative sense.
Usages over time:

Estray is pronounced like "ih-strey" with a pressure on strey.
Astray is pronounced like "uh-strey" with a pressure on strey.

Mind Trick: How to memorise Astray and Estray.
As we know astray works as an adverb and adjective. You can see all these words have an "a" in common at their start: Astray is Adverb and Adjective. This way we can easily memorise that the word Astray starting with an "a" is adverb and adjective, and Estray with an "e" is noun.

Can we use the word Stray in place of Estray and Astray?
Stray means the same thing that Astray and Estray mean. 
Stray can be used as verb.
  1. Whenever I tried to read, my mind strayed from the book.
  2. Your dogs have strayed too far from your house.
Stray can be used as adjective.
  1. A stray dog came to my house for food.
Stray can be used as noun. It means an animal, person or thing that has lost from the right place or from its owner.
  1. I found a stray inside my car.
So, stray can be used as verb, adjective, and noun. For adverb, you should use astray.

In a nutshell:
Astray means to get lost somewhere because of choosing wrong way or path.
Estray is someone who get lost or who has gone astray.
Astray is adverb and adjective, while estray is noun.

Choose the correct word-
These dogs are ..........(astray/estray).
Ans. The correct word is estray. 

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