meander

noun
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.

meander

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

Noun

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

Her tiaras had strong ties to the past—one Greek meander tiara included diamonds from Napoleon’s sword, another included pearls belonging to the Empress Josephine. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "A 40-Carat Diamond Ring with Ties to the French Royal Family Was Just Recovered by Police in Paris," 8 Apr. 2019 Yet the kid, still mired in self-doubt, makes bad decisions in the course of a shapeless plot that sometimes manages, in mid-meander, to minimize the threat from Grimmel, who isn’t interesting at all. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ Review: More Smoke Than Fire," 21 Feb. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

When a young hero sets out on a journey, the reader settles in for a story of the ample, meandering kind. Anna Mundow, WSJ, "‘The Parisian’ Review: A Franco-Palestinian Education," 12 Apr. 2019 Sorry to Bother You’ sticks to its own script, but crucial to add that the script in question flips, swerves, meanders and all but explodes in a flurry of ideas and inspirations. Mark Olsen, latimes.com, "Indie Focus: Transformations in 'Sorry to Bother You,' 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' and 'Whitney'," 8 July 2018 Upon awakening, meander over to our Seth Bird annex for a sumptuous and leisurely breakfast. Hannah Seligson, Town & Country, "The Best Room At... Winvian Farm," 19 Feb. 2019 Unlike resort-goers who have private pools and butlers, guesthouse visitors meander through where Maldivians live and pray. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, "Maldives, a Destination for the 1%, Chases the Backpacker Buck," 10 Feb. 2019 Huffing, snorting and in no hurry to move, the big-horned bovines occasionally meander across the Khmer-American Friendship Highway, the dusty, 140-mile route linking Phnom Penh’s factories with the port in the coastal city of Sihanoukville. Alexandra Stevenson, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s tariffs may hurt as trade war worsens, but quitting China is hard to do. Why other countries can’t fill the bill.," 24 Sep. 2018 The camera often lingers a few seconds too long in many scenes before meandering on to the next. David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Handmaid’s Tale’ makes you work, but pays off as few shows ever could," 20 Apr. 2018 Of those, roughly half are expected to meander along the waterfront, while half are expected to use the tunnel, then swing east or west using Mercer Street or other arterials, state officials have long predicted. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "What will the Highway 99 tunnel opening mean for bus routes, detours and tsunamis? We answer those questions and more," 12 Dec. 2018 Unlabeled, the model’s dominant feature is the river, half a foot wide, meandering southward 190 miles, carving its crescent around New Orleans before splintering a thousand capillaries out into the ocean. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 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

23 Apr 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 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.

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