1 of 2


wan·​der·​ing ˈwän-d(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce wandering (audio)
: characterized by aimless, slow, or pointless movement: such as
: that winds or meanders
a wandering course
: not keeping a rational or sensible course : vagrant
: nomadic
wandering tribes
of a plant : having long runners or tendrils


2 of 2


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

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
The wandering albatross has the largest wingspan of any living bird species. Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 20 June 2024 These mountains are where, occasionally, America’s rarest wandering cats, jaguars and ocelots, roam, and where state and federal biologists seek to recover Mexican gray wolves. Brandon Loomis, The Arizona Republic, 20 May 2024
California Bear named ‘Oreo’ roams Monrovia in search of food — and snags namesake cookies May 26, 2024 Yellow 2291’s recent relocations may be a factor in her relentless wandering, according to Pratt. Sandra McDonald, Los Angeles Times, 10 July 2024 And whether an organic or synthetic eye spots them first, the wandering or wounded will be just as grateful. Sarah Scoles, Scientific American, 9 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for wandering 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wandering.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near wandering

Cite this Entry

“Wandering.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wandering. Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
wan·​der·​ing ˈwän-də-riŋ How to pronounce wandering (audio)
: floating
a wandering spleen


2 of 2 noun
: movement of a tooth out of its normal position especially as a result of periodontal disease

More from Merriam-Webster on wandering

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!