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 At its Art Walks, visitors can wander through dozens of studios to meet resident artists, peruse the work of guest artists in the hallways and enjoy food and music. Luann Gibbs, Cincinnati.com, "Things to do this week in Cincinnati: Dec. 2-8," 2 Dec. 2019 Shannon wandered the convention alongside them from morning to evening on Friday, capturing spontaneous, sometimes humorously banal, moments with her Canon Mark IV and off-camera flash. Laura Mallonee, WIRED, "Comic-Con's Unexpectedly Great Cosplay Moments," 22 July 2019 That featured a lonely single man, wandering aimlessly round Paradise under the watchful eye of the show’s creator. 1843, "Love Island’s literary forebears, from Eden to The Tempest," 19 June 2019 Twelve stops later, just shy of the end of the line, the few remaining riders wander out onto Baychester Avenue. Quanta Magazine, "The Art of Teaching Math and Science," 16 June 2019 More recently, Sawyer wandered away when bagger Lindsay and I shuffle-heel-toed together in the produce section at the grocery store. Karina Bland, azcentral, "Yes, I talk to strangers. It makes me feel good (and embarrasses my kid)," 16 Nov. 2019 During the game's second quarter, the cat wandered onto the field before sprinting through the Giants' end zone. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "Viral black cat from Monday Night Football still on the loose at MetLife Stadium," 7 Nov. 2019 Today, Calvin and Hobbes would not be wandering through those charming woods unless it was followed up with a strip about the police coming to their house. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Isn't the Only Mom Under Pressure to Be Perfect," 26 Oct. 2019 On her birthday, then, collecting stories to help the world better understand that work, Allain wandered through the El Paso bus station, crammed with clusters of families forced into squalid conditions. Kimberly Meyer, Glamour, "The Women of RAICES Are Giving Immigrants a Voice," 25 Oct. 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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Learn More about wander

Time Traveler for wander

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wander

Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Wander.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wanderer. Accessed 8 December 2019.

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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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