wander

verb
wan·der | \ˈwän-dər \
wandered; wandering\ˈwän-d(ə-)riŋ \

Definition of wander 

intransitive verb

1a : to move about without a fixed course, aim, or goal

b : to go idly about : ramble wandering around the house

2 : to follow a winding course : meander

3a : to go astray (as from a course) : stray wandered away from the group

b : to go astray morally : err

c : to lose normal mental contact : stray in thought his mind wandered

transitive verb

: to roam over wandered the halls

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Other Words from wander

wander noun
wanderer \ˈwän-dər-ər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for wander

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

wander, roam, and ramble mean to move about from place to place without a reason or plan. wander is used for moving about without following a fixed course. The tribes wandered in the desert for forty years. roam is used for the carefree act of wandering over a wide area often for the sake of enjoyment. I roamed over the hills and through the meadows. ramble is used for wandering in a careless way. Horses rambled over the open range.

Examples of wander in a Sentence

I was just wandering around the house. They wandered down the street. Students were wandering the halls. He wandered away from the trail and got lost.
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Recent Examples on the Web

His four-year-old daughter wanders through his office during an interview with The Economist. The Economist, "Big corporates’ quest to be hip is helping WeWork," 12 July 2018 Your mind wanders from a friendship to a budding romance. BostonGlobe.com, "For Attorney General Maura Healey, sports were crucial to success," 11 July 2018 Back in the ’70s, a lost dog wandered into our yard. Kevin Fisher-paulson, SFChronicle.com, "Dog dish: a tell-all by Bandit the Pekingese," 10 July 2018 As the reporter’s mother, Patricia Clarkson could have wandered in from a Tennessee Williams play. Hal Boedeker, OrlandoSentinel.com, "'Sharp Objects,' Bill Maher, 'The 2000s': This weekend," 6 July 2018 At other times, people could wander inside and make music of their own. Samantha West, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Eaux Claires Day 1 recap: The 'mystery' lineup is released, and some reply, 'Meh'," 6 July 2018 Exploring a cave system after soccer practice, the boys wandered far into the Tham Luang caves before being trapped in a flash flood. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Ex-SEAL Diver Dies in Thai Cave Rescue Attempt," 6 July 2018 Twelve days after the team of boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old assistant coach wandered into the nearby Tham Luang cave, Thai authorities are pooling all available resources to try to get them out. Time, "Grandfather of Trapped Thai Boy Says He’ll ‘Never Let Them Near a Cave Again’," 5 July 2018 The girl had wandered off while being watched by her 13-year-old sister and was discovered in the lazy river area of Splash Harbour Water Park in Indian Rocks Beach, ABC Action News reported. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "Touching photo captures paramedic comforting girl, 3, after she nearly drowned at water park," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wander.' 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 wander

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for wander

Middle English wandren, from Old English wandrian; akin to Middle High German wandern to wander, Old English windan to wind, twist

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Statistics for wander

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wander

The first known use of wander was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for wander

wander

verb

English Language Learners Definition of wander

: to move around or go to different places usually without having a particular purpose or direction

: to follow a path with many turns

: to go away from a path, course, etc.

wander

verb
wan·der | \ˈwän-dər \
wandered; wandering

Kids Definition of wander

1 : to move about without a goal or purpose : ramble

2 : to get off the right path or leave the right area : stray “She would never wander far away alone … you know how timid she is.”— Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

3 : to lose concentration My mind began to wander.

4 : to follow a winding course The path wanders through the woods.

Other Words from wander

wanderer noun

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Comments on wander

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