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 After the first wolf wandered into California in 2011, state officials added it for protection in 2014 under the California Endangered Species Act. Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, "Video: Three new wolf pups born in Northern California," 6 Aug. 2019 In the digital land of Azeroth, a hero wanders alone. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "One Big Dream: Yao Ming Wants to Make Chinese Basketball Global," 27 June 2019 Reindeer wander the vast, deserted region in northern Finland. Washington Post, "Finnish conscripts injured in attempt to avoid reindeer," 12 Sep. 2019 The Lori-Diddy rumors caught the internet's attention in late July when photos emerged of the two wandering around New York City together in matching outfits. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Masked Singer' Host Nick Cannon Faces Backlash Over Lori Harvey and P. Diddy Comments," 3 Sep. 2019 The big economic danger of negative interest rates is wandering deep in the woods of unpredictability. Erik Sherman, Fortune, "‘Negative’ Interest Rates Used to be Unthinkable in the U.S.—Not Anymore," 14 Aug. 2019 And don’t forget about the ominous ending: that bound and gagged bloody guy out wandering in the desert? Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "Hulu's Veronica Mars revival binge recap for every episode," 19 July 2019 After wandering in the wilderness of the minor leagues and, occasionally, major-league bullpens, Bouton signed with the expansion Seattle Pilots in 1969. Alex Johnson, NBC News, "Jim Bouton, Yankees pitcher whose 'Ball Four' blew the whistle on baseball, dies at 80," 11 July 2019 In the 1990s and 2000s, teachers wandered in the political wilderness, boxed in by the reform agenda favored by both their former allies, the Democrats, and business-minded Republicans. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The strike that brought teachers unions back from the dead," 5 July 2019

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

24 Oct 2019

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
How to pronounce wander (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wander

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wander

Spanish Central: Translation of wander

Nglish: Translation of wander for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wander for Arabic Speakers

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