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

If these meanders, or ripples, are extreme, cold Arctic air can spill southward or hotter air from the middle of the planet can move north. Somini Sengupta, New York Times, "A Heat Wave Tests Europe’s Defenses. Expect More.," 1 July 2019 Like a slow-moving river, a slower jet stream forms deep meanders, which can stall during the summer, sometimes for weeks. Stephen Leahy, National Geographic, "Europe has had five 500-year summers in 15 years. And now this," 28 June 2019 But after a promising setup, the film meanders, trying and failing to find some sense of purpose with the two oddball characters and their rich back stories. Katie Walsh, Twin Cities, "‘Tomorrow Man’ script fails fascinating characters, but Danner, Lithgow shine," 6 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

More than a year of limbo followed, meandering and then leading to Sunday night here at Soldier Field, where once again the USA suffered a dispiriting defeat. Brian Straus, SI.com, "Despite Glaring Needs, Runner-Up Finish, USMNT Sees Foundation Built in Gold Cup," 8 July 2019 On a National Geographic Expedition, go beyond the natural splendor and witness ancient ruins like those of Volubilis, explore the historic city of Fez, and meander the medinas of Marrakech. Kelly Barrett, National Geographic, "Flower power: 10 of the world's best destinations for blooms," 7 July 2019 Don’t get me wrong: Boston is a smart, beautiful, literary, sports-rich place where one can meander through pretty parks and get plenty of sleep. BostonGlobe.com, "15 things to love and 11 things to loathe about Boston," 2 July 2019 At the debate, Mr. Biden was sometimes tentative and meandering. Julie Bosman, New York Times, "A Day After Bruising Debate, Biden Pushes Back Against Criticism on Civil Rights," 28 June 2019 By turns chiding and goading, Biden, who can sometimes ramble and meander with long anecdotes, offered one of his most coherent rationales for seeking the presidency. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Biden, Trump travel to Iowa, trade insults," 11 June 2019 And, like the tangled veins of cypress roots that meander this way and that in the swamp, everything in New Orleans is interrelated, wrapped around itself in ways that aren’t always obvious. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Dr. John, dead at 77: Revisit our 2017 & 1989 interviews with Rock Hall of Famer," 7 June 2019 Coral Canyons: The jammy, psych-rock four-piece from Palm Beach County, primarily Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, can go heavy or meander off into elliptical funk, winning over audiences at Voltaire in West Palm Beach and Miami’s Las Rosas. Ben Crandell, sun-sentinel.com, "Who’s playing the free Summer in the City concert series in Boca Raton?," 6 June 2019 But the documents meandered around the F.B.I. organizational chart, former officials said. New York Times, "Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation," 16 May 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

15 Jul 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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