wan·​der·​ing | \ ˈwän-d(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce wandering (audio) \

Definition of wandering

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: characterized by aimless, slow, or pointless movement: such as
a : that winds or meanders a wandering course
b : not keeping a rational or sensible course : vagrant
c : nomadic wandering tribes
d of a plant : having long runners or tendrils



Definition of wandering (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a going about from place to place often used in plural
2 : movement away from the proper, normal, or usual course or place often used in plural

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Examples of wandering in a Sentence

Adjective your decidedly wandering essay loses its punch—stick to one theme a wandering carnival that visited small towns all over the South
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The tapes include the distortions of a do-it-yourself recording project, with its prickly static and wandering amplification. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘Dana H.’ Maps a Harrowing Journey Into Hell," 25 Feb. 2020 And the team found that artificial traps with feathers around them captured more wandering arthropods than those without. Joshua Rapp Learn, Scientific American, "Brazilian Ants Build Unusual Trap for Bugs," 8 Nov. 2019 Donovan was born in Glasgow, Scotland and was a high school dropout and sort of wandering beach bum, according to his bio. Mike Oliver | Moliver@al.com, al, "My Vinyl Countdown gets a sweet tooth looking at the No. 1 song in 1969," 4 Aug. 2019 Little little orishas is the story of Sango, a simple-minded and defiant wandering spirit, and his gentle sister Oya. Ciku Kimeria, Quartz Africa, "The Congolese storyteller drawing on African mythology and spirituality for his comic books," 2 June 2019 Cormier is a storyteller who celebrates song itself and the wandering spirit that infuses folk music and the lives of many folk singers. John Adamian, courant.com, "Canadian Troubadour J.P. Cormier Coming To Hartford," 17 Mar. 2018 Numerous officers responded to find the girl’s parents after passersby reported the wandering toddler, police said. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "East Hartford Police Arrest Father Of Wandering Toddler," 26 Mar. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Early-season deer don’t do much wandering, but their travel patterns do change because their food choices vary. Gerald Almy, Field & Stream, "The 12 Best Early-Season Treestand Locations for Deer Hunting," 17 Sep. 2020 Entry into other areas of the lot were barricaded and blocked by security to discourage wandering. Kirsten Chuba, The Hollywood Reporter, "Sony Debuts Sold-Out Drive-In Experience With Masks and Memorabilia," 15 Aug. 2020 As if reminding us of the joy of aimless wandering, Rambalac turns the camera from the stickers and walks on, searching for what is next to discover. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Escaping Coronavirus Lockdown Through a Stranger’s Solitary Walks on YouTube," 9 Apr. 2020 Danner is a great shoe brand, and these waterproof boots are a nice option for all your own stomping and garden-wandering. Madison Durham, USA TODAY, "15 outfits from Animal Crossing you can wear in real life," 22 June 2020 Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies responded about 5 p.m. Thursday to the 5400 block of Court G after neighbors found the wandering boy. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Parents of little boy found wandering Jefferson County street found," 22 May 2020 Hermits lived a life of rootless, solitary wandering from place to place, according to historian Eddie Jones, rejecting human aid but relying on God’s help in the face of difficulty. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, "Self-isolation has its roots in ancient times," 23 Apr. 2020 The Big Red Safety Box covers wandering and elopement, and the Meet the Police program teaches parents of children on the autism spectrum and children with autism how to interact with the police. Michele C. Hollow, New York Times, "When the Police Stop a Teenager With Special Needs," 27 Feb. 2020 Although momentarily flustered, you—and your thoughts—return to the same wandering pattern a minute or two later. Simon Makin, Scientific American, "Constant Shifts between Mental States Mark a Signature of Consciousness," 12 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wandering.' 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 wandering


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for wandering

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wandering

Cite this Entry

“Wandering.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wandering. Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for wandering


wan·​der·​ing | \ ˈwän-də-riŋ How to pronounce wandering (audio) \

Medical Definition of wandering

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: floating a wandering spleen



Medical Definition of wandering (Entry 2 of 2)

: movement of a tooth out of its normal position especially as a result of periodontal disease

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