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 tailwind carried the plane through Greenland and Scandinavian airspace, allowing the airbus to reach the tarmac just 11 minutes behind schedule, despite the meandering route. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "A Turkish Airlines Flight Flew an Extra 800 Miles and Still Landed on Time," 23 Oct. 2018 All along its meandering length, lives straddle the line. Manuel Roig-franzia, The Seattle Times, "A Mexican-American daughter’s search for her father’s sanity," 31 Aug. 2018 Scott Olson/Getty Images Goldie’s late-night journey might sound like the meandering internet history of a lost, bigoted man. Alvin Chang, Vox, "We analyzed every QAnon post on Reddit. Here’s who QAnon supporters actually are.," 8 Aug. 2018 Channeling its name, the residential, retail and office development is marked by distinct structures, inviting plazas and meandering pathways meant to entice people to take a journey through a familiar small town. Jennifer Van Grove, sandiegouniontribune.com, "One Paseo: Inside the bustling construction site," 12 July 2018 The good thing about the meandering route for Lenexa's July 4 Community Days Parade is watchers have plenty of curb space to watch the festivities. The Kansas City Star, kansascity, "Train through July 4 parade separates this Kansas candidate from his delegation," 5 July 2018 Roughly paralleling Woody Mountain Road, the meandering single track holds steady at around 7,100 feet, sweeping easily through wildflower meadows and shady glens. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Flagstaff hike: Rogers Trail hike is a lovely walk in the woods," 5 July 2018 Courtesy of Stephen Richie Ten years ago this month, the three of them made a meandering five-day round trip via mountain routes to Gettysburg, Pa., that covered 2,000 miles. Théoden Janes, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte radio personality killed in crash 'was a great example of never giving up'," 20 June 2018 Its meditations on the nature of the mind are growing increasingly knotty, putting flesh and bones to the meandering thought experiments that keep undergrads up at night. Sandra Upson, WIRED, "Westworld Recap, Season 2 Episode 8: The Great Ghost Nation Mystery," 11 June 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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