meander

noun
me·​an·​der | \mē-ˈan-dər \

Definition of meander 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a winding path or course the new path, which he supposed only to make a few meanders— Samuel Johnson especially : labyrinth

2 : a turn or winding of a stream The meander eventually became isolated from the main stream.

meander

verb
meandered; meandering\ -​d(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of meander (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to follow a winding or intricate course across the ceiling meandered a long crack— John Galsworthy

2 : to wander aimlessly or casually without urgent destination : ramble he meandered with the sightseers gawping at the boat people— John le Carré

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Other Words from meander

Noun

meandrous \ -​drəs \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for meander

Verb

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

Examples of meander in a Sentence

Verb

The path meanders through the garden. We meandered around the village. The conversation meandered on for hours.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Thick channels of paint drag your eye not into the picture, but on a slow meander across its surface. Charles Desmarais, San Francisco Chronicle, "Wayne Thiebaud’s early works still confound," 20 Jan. 2018 Follow the trail past the saddle, and you're rewarded with an up-and-down ridge walk fit for a mountain run or slow meander — all the better to drink in the views. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "12 Anchorage-area hikes you can do in about 5 hours or less," 15 June 2018 Near Pisa the river Arno ends its long meander through Tuscany and runs into the Tyrrhenian sea. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "Gone Fishing: Federico Curradi Casts a Spell at Pitti," 14 June 2018 Doyle recounts centuries of such engineering exploits: channelizing, straightening out rivers’ natural meanders, deepening their pathways, and scouring their beds of silt. Rachel Riederer, The New Republic, "Can Rivers Be People Too?," 9 May 2018 What distinguishes Takahata’s movies are their zigzagging motions, their meandering paths that do not call attention to their meanders. Carlos Valladares, San Francisco Chronicle, "For Studio Ghibli devotees, a fantasy weekend at the Roxie," 13 Feb. 2018 The river is a crucial shipping route, Willson notes, and big barges could never navigate natural meanders. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, "Taming the Mighty Mississippi May Have Caused Bigger Floods," 10 Apr. 2018 By Patrick Reilly | For The Oregonian/OregonLive POLSON, Mont. -- This small town marks the spot where Flathead Lake narrows into a river and resumes its long meander toward the Pacific. OregonLive.com, "At Columbia River's doorstep, an uneasy lookout for invasive mussels," 10 Feb. 2018 Overgrown ditches, meander streams and remnants of placer mines denote a lost history and seemingly bird-rich country. Author: Christine Cunningham, Alaska Dispatch News, "In grouse country near Chicken, a bird dog has his day," 28 Sep. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The expansive, three-story structure is supported by broad wood beams high above and looks out of enormous cathedral-like windows to a large garden, where pebbled trails meander through plants and weeping willows toward comfy seating areas. New York Times, "Free (or Cheap) Things to Do in NYC This Weekend," 5 July 2018 A mile and a half away in a frenetic LA street is a beautified median—some nice little trees, shrubs, and dirt, with a walking path meandering through—that doubles as a spreading ground in miniature. Matt Simon, WIRED, "LA Is Doing Water Better Than Your City. Yes, That LA," 12 June 2018 Reeves loves Oswald’s meandering, insomniac’s tale. Catherine Womack, Los Angeles Magazine, "Keanu Reeves Is Publishing Books That Are Beautiful, Socially Conscious, and Worth Your Time," 23 Feb. 2018 His interlocutory approach is gentle, meandering, even bumbling. Ruth Graham, Slate Magazine, "David Brody, chief political correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network, guessed early on that white evangelicals would go for Trump.," 4 Jan. 2018 The main gate, with its Moorish arch and meandering driveway, is rendered inaccessible when the president is in residence, along with a two-mile stretch of South Ocean Boulevard. Steven Stolman, Town & Country, "What Palm Beach Is Like Now That Donald Trump Is Gone," 10 May 2017 Wendy’s shares have been meandering upward since 2000 but have yet to hit highs reached in 1998 and 1993. Courtney Becker, Philly.com, "Wendy's sassy twitter feed is fun and sets the bar for fast-food chains," 15 June 2018 In the 69 minutes between the tweet and the actual release, futures contracts on the S&P 500 meandered randomly in a narrow range of about one-tenth of a percent of the index’s value. WSJ, "Does Premature Expostulation Hurt Anyone?," 10 June 2018 Wochit FC Cincinnati's efforts to pick a potential Major League Soccer stadium site have meandered over 17 months, starting 15 months after the team began to play at Nippert Stadium. The Enquirer, Cincinnati.com, "Key dates in FC Cincinnati's lurching effort to pick a stadium site," 6 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of meander

Noun

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

circa 1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for meander

Noun

Latin maeander, from Greek maiandros, from Maiandros (now Menderes), river in Asia Minor

Verb

see meander entry 1

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Time Traveler for meander

The first known use of meander was in 1599

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More Definitions for meander

meander

verb

English Language Learners Definition of meander

: to have a lot of curves instead of going in a straight or direct line : to follow a winding course

: to walk slowly without a specific goal, purpose, or direction

: to go from one topic to another without any clear direction

meander

verb
me·​an·​der | \mē-ˈan-dər \
meandered; meandering

Kids Definition of meander

1 : to follow a winding course A brook meanders through the fields.

2 : to wander without a goal or purpose He spends his days meandering around town.

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