marvel

noun
mar·​vel | \ ˈmär-vəl How to pronounce marvel (audio) \

Definition of marvel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one that causes wonder or astonishment her talent is a marvel to behold … with that marvel of architecture before our eyes …— Martha Kean
2 : intense surprise or interest : astonishment … his voice filled with marvel— Mordecai Richler

marvel

verb
marveled or marvelled; marveling or marvelling\ ˈmärv-​liŋ How to pronounce marvelling (audio) , ˈmär-​və-​ \

Definition of marvel (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to become filled with surprise, wonder, or amazed curiosity marveled at the magician's skill

transitive verb

: to feel astonishment or perplexity at or about marveled that they had escaped

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of marvel in a Sentence

Noun

that new electric car really is a marvel

Verb

The doctors marveled that anyone could recover so quickly.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

May’s performance, as a woman losing a fight with dementia, was a marvel. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "The 2019 Tony Awards: “Hadestown” Triumphs, Elaine May Sparkles, and Billy Porter Wins the Red Carpet," 10 June 2019 The way Mazin distills the complexity of the situation into potent dialogue is a marvel. Overarching all of the above is Chernobyl’s most vital quality: Its devastating exposure of gigantic political failure. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Chernobyl: Devastating Indictment of Socialism, Not Trumpism," 5 June 2019 The fact that Machu Picchu was constructed without the use of the wheel, metal tools, or mortar is a marvel in itself, though the question that continues to perplex historians is why it was built—and then abandoned. National Geographic, "Ancient Isles: England, Ireland, and Scotland," 8 Apr. 2019 In their primes, Suzuki and Lincecum were undersized marvels: Both 5 feet 11 inches and less than 180 pounds, their bodies seemingly made of elastic. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "Ichiro Suzuki and Tim Lincecum: Dimmed Stars With Fuel to Burn," 7 Mar. 2018 But the Phoenix, a new drone out of the United Kingdom, is a marvel—and could have major military implications. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Drone 'Breathes' Air To Propel Itself and Has Unlimited Range," 26 Apr. 2019 Marib Dam, built in the 8th century BC in a quest to bolster agriculture in the otherwise desert terrain, is still considered an engineering marvel. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Archaeologists fear biblical artifacts, monuments won't survive Yemen war," 9 Aug. 2018 Mais oui, another lovely humanist marvel from Kore-eda. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "The wonderful, improbable Palme d'Or triumph of Hirokazu Kore-eda's 'Shoplifters' at Cannes," 21 May 2018 The show, created by Dave Holstein with the bulk of the episodes directed by Gondry (as well as Carrey’s first significant role on TV since 1990’s In Living Color), is heartbreaking, and a rare marvel. Karen Han, Vox, "Jim Carrey returns to TV on Showtime’s Kidding. It’s a messy triumph.," 8 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Michael Patrick Flanagan, who loved to travel and marvel at historical and nautical landmarks around the world, went on his last big journey enveloped in the light of pure consciousness. courant.com, "Michael Patrick Flanagan," 9 June 2019 Join me in marveling at Ciara's larger than life afro that has me breathless. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "I Live for Ciara's Larger Than Life Afro at the 2019 Met Gala," 7 May 2019 Trump floats death penalty for drug dealers Saturday was not the first time Mr. Trump has marveled at countries that execute drug dealers. CBS News, "Trump's freewheeling Pittsburgh rally in quotes," 10 Mar. 2018 Now all that's left to do is marvel in your own craftiness. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "How I Made My Boring IKEA Bookshelf Look Fancy with $20 and a Glue Gun," 13 Mar. 2019 Archaeologists are marveling at the site of a 1600s Native American fort in Connecticut that was uncovered as part of a rail bridge replacement project. Dave Collins, The Seattle Times, "Archaeologists dig Native American fort found in Connecticut," 28 Aug. 2018 And yet the shapely marvels on display here suggest that Yugoslav architects were more attracted to concrete’s expressive powers than to technological innovation. Julie V. Iovine, WSJ, "‘Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-1980’ Review: An Imaginative Moment," 24 Aug. 2018 Fans marveled at the prospect of Fuller joining Marcus Peters in the secondary. Blair Kerkhoff, kansascity, "In Chiefs' secondary makeover, a bounce back season from David Amerson is key," 15 June 2018 Oliver then cut to a Fox and Friends segment in which Rivera marveled at footage of the bomb being dropped. Laura Bradley, HWD, "Why Is John Oliver Feuding with Geraldo Rivera?," 17 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'marvel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of marvel

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for marvel

Noun

Middle English merveile, mervayle "something causing astonishment, miracle," borrowed from Anglo-French merveille, going back to Gallo-Romance *merevelia, altered from Latin mīrābilia, noun derivative from neuter plural of mīrābilis "causing wonder, remarkable," from mīrārī "to be surprised, look with wonder at" + -bilis "capable of (acting or being acted upon)" — more at admire, -able

Verb

Middle English merveilen, mervaylen, borrowed from Anglo-French merveiller, derivative of merveille marvel entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about marvel

Statistics for marvel

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for marvel

The first known use of marvel was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for marvel

marvel

noun

English Language Learners Definition of marvel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: someone or something that is extremely good, skillful, etc. : a wonderful or marvelous person or thing

marvel

verb

English Language Learners Definition of marvel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to feel great surprise, wonder, or admiration

marvel

noun
mar·​vel | \ ˈmär-vəl How to pronounce marvel (audio) \

Kids Definition of marvel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that causes wonder or astonishment

marvel

verb
marveled or marvelled; marveling or marvelling

Kids Definition of marvel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to feel astonishment or wonder I had never seen such beautiful illustrations … I turned the pages, marveling.— Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on marvel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with marvel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for marvel

Spanish Central: Translation of marvel

Nglish: Translation of marvel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of marvel for Arabic Speakers

Comments on marvel

What made you want to look up marvel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!