verb wan·der \ˈwän-dər\

: to move around or go to different places usually without having a particular purpose or direction

: to follow a path with many turns

: to go away from a path, course, etc.

wan·deredwan·der·ing \-d(ə-)riŋ\

Full Definition of WANDER

intransitive verb
a :  to move about without a fixed course, aim, or goal
b :  to go idly about :  ramble <wandering around the house>
:  to follow a winding course :  meander
a :  to go astray (as from a course) :  stray <wandered away from the group>
b :  to go astray morally :  err
c :  to lose normal mental contact :  stray in thought <his mind wandered>
transitive verb
:  to roam over <wandered the halls>
wander noun
wan·der·er \-dər-ər\ noun

Examples of WANDER

  1. I was just wandering around the house.
  2. They wandered down the street.
  3. Students were wandering the halls.
  4. He wandered away from the trail and got lost.

Origin of WANDER

Middle English wandren, from Old English wandrian; akin to Middle High German wandern to wander, Old English windan to wind, twist
First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of WANDER

wander, roam, ramble, rove, traipse, meander mean to go about from place to place usually without a plan or definite purpose. wander implies an absence of or an indifference to a fixed course <fond of wandering about the square just watching the people>. roam suggests wandering about freely and often far afield <liked to roam through the woods>. ramble stresses carelessness and indifference to one's course or objective <the speaker rambled on without ever coming to the point>. rove suggests vigorous and sometimes purposeful roaming <armed brigands roved over the countryside>. traipse implies a course that is erratic but may sometimes be purposeful <traipsed all over town looking for the right dress>. meander implies a winding or intricate course suggestive of aimless or listless wandering <the river meanders for miles through rich farmland>.

Rhymes with WANDER

WANDER Defined for Kids


verb wan·der \ˈwän-dər\

Definition of WANDER for Kids

:  to move about without a goal or purpose :  ramble
:  to get off the right path or leave the right area :  stray <“She would never wander far away alone … you know how timid she is.” — Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea>
:  to lose concentration <My mind began to wander.>
:  to follow a winding course <The path wanders through the woods.>
wan·der·er noun

Synonym Discussion of WANDER

wander, roam, and ramble mean to move about from place to place without a reason or plan. wander is used for moving about without following a fixed course. <The tribes wandered in the desert for forty years.> roam is used for the carefree act of wandering over a wide area often for the sake of enjoyment. <I roamed over the hills and through the meadows.> ramble is used for wandering in a careless way. <Horses rambled over the open range.>


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