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 The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said she was spotted by a security guard wandering about the store and adding unusual items to her cart. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "'Suspicious': Florida woman charged with making bomb in a Walmart," 14 Jan. 2020 Biden becomes not just the reembodiment of the dead Kennedys but a kind of political necromancer, calling forth an entire generation that has been wandering in a civic Hades, lost to the world of democratic engagement. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "The Designated Mourner," 7 Jan. 2020 On those tires, the two-door Wrangler wanders between the lines in the lightest crosswind. Mike Sutton, Car and Driver, "Do the 2020 Jeep Wrangler's New Engines Improve the Icon?," 7 Jan. 2020 Travelers can also wander around the small cemetery, which is above-ground due to rock just below the surface and a lack of soil. Katie Lockhart, Smithsonian Magazine, "How This Abandoned Mining Town in Greenland Helped Win World War II," 28 Dec. 2019 Successful Coues deer hunting requires a special mindset and the willingness to wander. Jace Bauserman, Outdoor Life, "The 6 Best Do-it-Yourself Hunts in America," 18 Dec. 2019 But access has become so difficult to attain that wandering around the farm looking for sign is an impossibility for many of today’s hunters. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "Do Bait Bans Really Help in the Fight Against CWD?," 22 Nov. 2019 The idea of Ram’s birthplace is also introduced into the plot, where Ram is carrying around a clod of earth from his janmabhumi (birthplace)—even when wandering in the forest for 14 years. Sanaya Chandar, Quartz India, "How a 1980s TV soap did the spadework for Hindu nationalism," 8 Nov. 2019 Word soon spread, and little by little the wandering homeless folks began to settle on wide ribbons of parkland on both sides of the paved part of the trail. Kevin Fagan, SFChronicle.com, "Santa Rosa struggles with biggest homeless camp in county history," 16 Dec. 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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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

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wander.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wanderer?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=w&file=wander02. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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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

Comments on wander

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