wander

verb
wan·​der | \ ˈwän-dər How to pronounce wander (audio) \
wandered; wandering\ ˈwän-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce wandering (audio) \

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 How to pronounce wanderer (audio) \ 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

The Daily Mail reports that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent much of their time wandering the expansive grounds. Vogue, "Did Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Sneak Away on a Luxurious Babymoon?," 5 Apr. 2019 Ponsonby is lined with funky cocktail spots, cool boutiques, charming coffee shops, shmancy art galleries and restaurants, and pretty young things wandering the sidewalks. Andrea Bartz, Marie Claire, "The Instagram Guide to Auckland, New Zealand," 11 Feb. 2019 Szabó's boyfriend, Piotr Pomienski, was monitoring Flightradar from home when the plane wandered north, rather than east. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "A British Airways Flight From London to Germany Accidentally Landed in Scotland," 25 Mar. 2019 The door to the lab is unmarked, so one of Mr. Collins’s few employees sometimes fetches confused visitors found wandering around the building’s common area. Lauren Weber, WSJ, "Management Guru Jim Collins Is Probing New Problems," 15 Feb. 2019 So be sure to get to the ballpark early and wander the grounds. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "A guide to visiting all of Maryland's minor league ballparks," 10 July 2018 This will enable the authorities to hold camel owners responsible for their herds, and will quickly put an end to the phenomenon of camels wandering onto the roads of the Negev. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Knesset approves and passes life-saving 'Camel Law'," 19 June 2018 Or wander the halls of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery free of charge. Brittany Martin, Los Angeles Magazine, "Where to Find L.A.’s Most Instagrammable Views," 8 June 2018 Before striking the man, the gator wandered around the neighborhood, people who live in the Hammocks subdivision told the station. Elizabeth Finny, miamiherald, "A gator wandering on the street head-butts a captor. Two cops got it from the other end," 6 June 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

11 Apr 2019

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 How to pronounce wander (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on wander

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wander

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wander

Spanish Central: Translation of wander

Nglish: Translation of wander for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wander for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wander

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