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


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

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

That news, plus free copies of The Witness, 20 minutes of Outer Worlds footage, Rage 2 announces a wandering wizard who sells cheat codes, and Prince Harry says Fortnite should be banned. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Borderlands 3 is an Epic exclusive, Obsidian shows off The Outer Worlds," 5 Apr. 2019 The drinks, served in grab-and-go plastic cups, are delivered on conveyor belts, suggestively thrusting drinkers back to their wanderings along the Strip, America’s grandest boulevard for public alcohol consumption. WSJ, "Robot Restaurants: The Good Versus the Gimmicks," 3 Oct. 2018 Rage 2 will also feature a wandering wizard who will sell players cheat codes, which sounds brilliant. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Borderlands 3 is an Epic exclusive, Obsidian shows off The Outer Worlds," 5 Apr. 2019 His dad, Jon, could emerge from his room at any time, asleep and wandering. Lydia Woolever, Popular Mechanics, "How Families Are Taking Care of Wounded Veterans," 28 Nov. 2018 The whole space has an open, flowing layout, to encourage seamless wandering. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "A First Look at the Faena Bazaar, Miami Beach’s New Design Destination," 3 Dec. 2018 Power Moves: With Mercury shifting into your zone of solitary wanderings and messages from the body, this week is a delicious mental bathtub packed with rose petals. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes October 29-November 4," 28 Oct. 2018 But throughout my twenties and thirties the first week of April was dedicated to desultory wanderings across the American Southwest. Anne Slowey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Fear and Self-Loathing in the American Southwest," 25 July 2018 Their alleged wanderings caused collateral damage to their spouses and families, but not to the public. Marcia Desanctis, Town & Country, "Mark Sanford, Act II," 14 Feb. 2013

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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Statistics for wandering

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wandering

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

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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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Comments on wandering

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