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

Tracking Stan Lee, a sentinel who had recently wandered into a farm, Bartoszek got a cheerful wave-through from a farm supervisor. Gena Steffens, Smithsonian, "The Snakes That Ate Florida," 11 July 2019 Sometimes those drives mean hours getting to know complete strangers who just wandered out of the woods. Eric Barton, Outside Online, "This Florida Thru-Hike Is Not for the Faint of Heart," 10 July 2019 Rich, filling and very, very sweet, guard this one from the toddlers who may wander up to you with wide eyes. Natalie Wade, chicagotribune.com, "What to eat at Taste of Chicago: We tried every booth to recommend our favorites," 9 July 2019 Jessica Jones, for her part, often feels like a superhero who’s wandered into a horror narrative. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Since season 1, Jessica Jones has struggled to mix horror with superheroes," 18 June 2019 Úrsula is the wise Buendía family matriarch, Remedios an innocent who wanders around naked. Maria L. La Ganga, www.latimes.com, "What's L.A. reading? Our habits are as diverse as the city itself," 6 June 2019 Not all who wander are lost: African wild dogs spend their days prowling huge amounts of territory, with home ranges of up to several hundred square miles in the open plains and sparse woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa. National Geographic, "Leaders of the Pack: Facts About African Wild Dogs," 26 Mar. 2019 India has millions of stray dogs, who wander the streets in even the most exclusive neighborhoods. Fox News, "Feral dog packs kill 6 Indian children, terrify villagers," 8 May 2018 Almost three hours before the bodies were found, police picked up Shane Walker, 36, wandering the streets near the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, Corey said. Ralph Ellis, CNN, "Man charged after woman, 2 toddlers found dead inside Staten Island home," 23 June 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

18 Jul 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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