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\ mē-​ˈan-​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 \ mē-​ˈan-​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

Still, the plain differences in our life particulars—my friend, days shy of her due date; me, meandering solo into my mid-30s—weren’t lost on me. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "At 35, I Went to a Millennial Egg-Freezing Clinic—and Now I’m Rethinking My Future," 12 Nov. 2018 Instead, the driver, who police at first identified as an approximately 30-year-old woman, allegedly sped away, meandering through a residential area west of Grandview before turning back onto Grandview heading south. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Waukesha police say she led them on a high-speed chase. She says it was someone who looked like her," 30 May 2018 The garbage patch the size of Texas meandering through the Pacific? Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "How You Can Participate in Earth Day," 21 Apr. 2018 Chasing has its moments, and then a lot of other time is spent with a bunch of nerdy (mostly) guys meandering through nowhere. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "‘You can only roll the dice so many times:’ Tim Samaras lived life like a twister," 2 Apr. 2018 Peruse the pieces, then walk into town for some ice cream and meander over to the beach across the street to savor your treat—the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Ariel Okin, Vogue, "Here’s Why Palm Beach Has Become a Destination for Young Interior Designers," 7 Dec. 2018 What better place for meandering conversations about life, family and our hopes and fears than this immaculate Viennese spa on a cold October day? Molly Selvin, latimes.com, "In Vienna, time for creating new memories and revisiting the old," 8 July 2018 But there was no sign of that here on Monday; the whole of the center of the city had been cleared of traffic to allow fans, meandering between downtown and the beach, to soak up the atmosphere. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Finally, a Loss for Russia. But Only on the Field.," 25 June 2018 The area features mostly single and two-lane roads that meander through vineyards and past grand chateaux. Matt Hranek, Condé Nast Traveler, "Great Drives: Speeding Through the French Countryside in the Audi A8," 25 Sep. 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 and Verb

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

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Statistics for meander

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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