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

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 This idea is explored at length in a wandering and wonderful Tim Ferris conversation with Balaji. Tom Vander Ark, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2021 The tapes include the distortions of a do-it-yourself recording project, with its prickly static and wandering amplification. Ben Brantley, New York Times, 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, 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, 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, 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, 17 Mar. 2018 Numerous officers responded to find the girl’s parents after passersby reported the wandering toddler, police said. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, 26 Mar. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Cinematographer Behrouz Badrouj resists over-prettifying proceedings in her wandering, inquisitive takes. Guy Lodge, Variety, 10 Nov. 2021 Data on the number of digital nomads is scant, as their wandering is often seasonal, but by most accounts, the number is increasing. Ollie A Williams, Forbes, 18 Oct. 2021 Kochikyan recalled her 4-year-old wandering into the building’s communal art studio, sitting right next to an accomplished painter in his 70s and picking up a brush. Washington Post, 14 Sep. 2021 Each one has involved this same kind of weekslong roving residency: wandering, noticing, focusing, clicking — skyscrapers, marketplaces, highways, minarets, a man carrying a box, a shirtless boy with a baseball glove, a pair of sleeping dogs. New York Times, 7 Oct. 2021 Too often, though, this effort slides into peripatetic wandering. Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2021 Workers need to be trained to handle challenging behaviors like wandering and aggression. BostonGlobe.com, 11 Sep. 2021 This relationship between physical and mental wandering is resilient across epochs, appearing amid wars and during general peace, in periods of boom and of bust. Alejandro Chacoff, The New Yorker, 23 Aug. 2021 Anecdotally, mind-wandering has been associated with creativity for centuries. Washington Post, 21 July 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near wandering



wandering albatross

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Cite this Entry

“Wandering.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wandering. Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on wandering

Nglish: Translation of wandering for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wandering for Arabic Speakers


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