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

Get the best of desert hiking at Aravaipa Canyon in Arizona, which wanders through the cool waters of Aravaipa Creek (yes, your feet will get wet) . Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "How to Choose a Trip for Your First Backpacking Experience," 11 Nov. 2018 Billy spent the next many years wandering through the United States. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "‘Alaskan Bush People' Cast: How Well Do You Know the Brown Family?," 23 Sep. 2018 Some of those differences might be the result of its evolution as Oumuamua wandered through interstellar space, said Karen Meech of the University of Hawaii, leader of the team, including Dr. Micheli, that discovered the comet. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "An Alien Visitor Turns Out to Be a Comet," 27 June 2018 The two opted out of desperation to cross illegally, wandering through a drying concrete culvert along the border as night approached. Morgan Lee, BostonGlobe.com, "Immigrant parents await word about children’s fate," 26 June 2018 Of all the memories of my first trip to New Orleans, this stands out: wandering through the French Quarter in search of an upscale restaurant that offered wheelchair access. Yomi S. Wrong, latimes.com, "These apps help defeat barriers and keep you on the road," 18 June 2018 Residents of the Red Mountain Ranch neighborhood spotted a black bear crossing streets and wandering through the neighborhood. Robert Gundran, azcentral, "Arizona Game and Fish: Expect more bear sightings in residential areas," 31 May 2018 Award-winning hunting writer Ted Kerasote, who lives in Kelly, Wyoming, fronting the Tetons, has had grizzlies wander through his yard. National Geographic, "Yellowstone-Area Grizzly Bears to Be Hunted for First Time in Decades," 24 May 2018 Friendly, mostly female Facebook staff wandered around to answer questions newcomers might have. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Facebook’s New York privacy pop-up was small, weird, and filled with sugar," 14 Dec. 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

3 Jan 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 \
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

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