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

Some of those guidelines wandered into focus group territory. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Here's what's inside Intel's boundary-pushing 'Project Athena' laptops—and why," 29 May 2019 Hell is other people Finding yourself in an empty vault the morning after what appears to be an epic party is strange, but even more bizarre is the first time another live player wanders into your field of view. Sarah Leboeuf, Ars Technica, "Fallout 76 is online and lonelier than ever," 15 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, the new editor in chief of this newspaper attended Northwestern, a leafy prep school that accidentally wandered into the Big Ten on its way home from a poetry reading and never left. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Wisconsin Must Beat Michigan to Save the World," 12 Oct. 2018 The Times of India reported that the leopard sparked chaos after wandering into a neighborhood of the central Indian city of Indore. Fox News, "'Baby snatcher' monkey hunted after infant found dead in well," 2 Oct. 2018 October 23, 2017: Of course, the situation gets much scarier when the person is actually looking for the singer, which is what happened back in 2017, when a woman wandered onto Justin's property three times in one week looking for him. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Justin Bieber's Craziest Stalker Stories," 27 Mar. 2019 On May 9, Timothy Elliott, a patrol officer with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, fielded a call about an injured dog that had wandered into a local post office. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Indiana patrol officer rescues, later adopts dog after finding it shot in face, covered in bleach," 15 July 2018 The plan announced Wednesday would allow private landowners to kill wolves that wander onto their property, The Post’s Darryl Fears reports. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Kennedy's retirement could bring a seismic shift to environmental law," 28 June 2018 Natalie Portman stars as one of the female scientists who wander into a swatch of Florida swampland that’s been turned otherworldly courtesy of a mysterious alien force. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "The 10 best movies of 2018 (so far), ranked," 21 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

6 Jun 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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