me·​an·​der | \ mē-ˈan-dər How to pronounce meander (audio) \

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.


meandered; meandering\ mē-​ˈan-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce meander (audio) \

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


meandrous \ mē-​ˈan-​drəs How to pronounce meander (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for meander


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

Did you know?

Meander comes from Greek Maiandros, an old name for a winding river in Asia Minor that is now known as the Menderes. Despite this origin, the word is more commonly used to refer to a person's wandering course than a river's.

Examples of meander in a Sentence

Verb The path meanders through the garden. We meandered around the village. The conversation meandered on for hours.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Greek key pattern, known as a meander, is a repeating geometric motif that was used on buildings, pottery, and other items in ancient times. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Apr. 2022 Also nearby were helicopter and pontoon tours that meander passengers above, through, and finally down into the base of the canyon and a hikable trail. Sunset Magazine, 4 Apr. 2022 No river meander captures the imagination as much as Horseshoe Bend. Joe Minihane, CNN, 24 Mar. 2022 Follow that with segment ten, a 4.3-mile meander through a forest that connects to the Syndicate Nature Trail. The Editors, Outside Online, 5 Feb. 2020 Thin plastic bags that once contained drinking water meander back and forth in the Senegalese surf, like jellyfish. New York Times, 31 Jan. 2022 The Sand Bench Trail, which makes a soft meander beneath the iconic Court of the Patriarchs formations, is the only exception. Shawnté Salabert, Outside Online, 19 Dec. 2019 Hike the trail along the southwest rim of a dormant volcano at Death Valley’s Ubehebe Crater, and meander along Artist’s Drive, a nine-mile road that passes through hillsides colorfully tinted with volcanic sediment. Megan Michelson, Outside Online, 11 Feb. 2021 The trail to the top of this landmark starts as a gentle meander through open desert for 1.3 miles. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 18 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Still, the Fed is dead-set on bringing inflation down through a series of interest-rate hikes, and Bitcoin, and other riskier assets, could meander along all year in this tighter-monetary-policy environment. Vildana Hajric, Fortune, 10 May 2022 Children and adults can meander through the garden and experience the wonder and joy of the season. Judy Koutsky, Forbes, 21 Dec. 2021 Then, meander the wine route—with more than 50 local wineries—check out the farm stands, learn about the city's pioneer history and shop and dine along Main Street. Rebecca Treon, Chron, 11 Mar. 2022 Spectators approaching from the southwest can meander around Lake Park to this plaza, which functions as one of the key points of entry to SoFi. Los Angeles Times, 13 Feb. 2022 Visitors to the park can meander the grounds on the paved, 1.6-mile Gateway Arch Trail, which curves around colorful honey locust trees and manmade lakes, offering tremendous views of the arch itself. Emily Pennington, Outside Online, 17 Dec. 2021 It is known for spa resorts, incredible golf courses, plenty of romantic trails to meander and breathtaking desertscape and hills. Shannon Lane, USA TODAY, 19 Jan. 2022 Its paths meander through multiple habitat settings, including valley, stream and pond. Washington Post, 10 Mar. 2022 The food hall was created to meander like a Parisian street, says architect Julie Reker from Gensler, the firm that designed High Street. Kara Baskin,, 28 Feb. 2022 See More

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


1599, in the meaning defined at sense 2


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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Time Traveler for meander

Time Traveler

The first known use of meander was in 1599

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Dictionary Entries Near meander

mean calorie


meander belt

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Statistics for meander

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Meander.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for meander


me·​an·​der | \ mē-ˈan-dər How to pronounce meander (audio) \
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.

More from Merriam-Webster on meander

Nglish: Translation of meander for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of meander for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about meander


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