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

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 In early May, a Canadian goose wandered onto the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice for the Indy 500 with little regard for the danger of the situation. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Daredevil squirrel faces real-life Frogger game on IndyCar race track," 1 June 2018 The staffer deposited Edwin in front of the cabinets marked PARADISAEIDAE, birds of paradise, and wandered off. National Geographic, "How an Obsession With Rare Bird Feathers Turned Criminal," 23 Apr. 2018 But to wander around and uncoil the parts of my insides that have been coiled around those boys for my entire adult life. Jen Mcguire, Good Housekeeping, "I Raised Four Sons as a Single Mom. Now That They're Grown, I'm Off to Europe.," 17 Dec. 2018 Most of its buildings could be entered, wandered around, and poked through extensively. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Shenmue I & II impressions: A gaming history lesson, but it feels like school," 20 Aug. 2018 Does that mean Mark Hamill was in Trevorrow’s version of Episode IX, or simply that Hamill was wandering around and Trevorrow couldn’t help himself from sharing? Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "Cantina Talk: That Big Solo Cameo Was a Last-Minute Decision," 4 June 2018 The Anchorage Daily News reports biologists believe that poor berry crops and struggling salmon are motivating the hungry bears to wander away from the woods and go into towns. Fox News, "Alaska's human-bear conflicts are on the rise, experts say," 26 Sep. 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

14 Mar 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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