wan·​der·​lust | \ ˈwän-dər-ˌləst How to pronounce wanderlust (audio) \

Definition of wanderlust

: strong longing for or impulse toward wandering

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Wanderlust Has German Roots

For my part, writes Robert Louis Stevenson in Travels with a Donkey, "I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move." Sounds like a case of wanderlust if we ever heard one. Those with "wanderlust" don't necessarily need to go anywhere in particular; they just don't care to stay in one spot. The etymology of wanderlust is a very simple one that you can probably figure out yourself. "Wanderlust" is lust (or "desire") for wandering. The word comes from German, in which wandern means "to wander," and Lust means "desire."

Examples of wanderlust in a Sentence

Wanderlust has led him to many different parts of the world.
Recent Examples on the Web The good news, at least for Americans with wanderlust: U.S. passport holders can still visit multiple countries in the Caribbean, many states in Mexico (though its land border remains closed), and several farther-flung locales. National Geographic, "American tourists are banned from Europe, but not these countries," 7 July 2020 In the meantime, the island is offering a dose of wanderlust from home with a virtual tour, including a 30-minute calming video of the sights and sounds of Aruba. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, "Dreaming of Heading to the Caribbean? Here's Every Island's Plan for Reopening," 3 June 2020 This will not be a summer of 12-hour beach days, or block parties, or wanderlust. Michelle Santiago Cortés, refinery29.com, "Newly Approved Rosé Prosecco Is Going To Be The Summer Drink Of 2021," 28 May 2020 From framed travel photos and map art to decorative globes, there are plenty of ways to bring wanderlust into your home. Madeline Diamond, Travel + Leisure, "These Travel-inspired Art Prints Are Buy One, Get One Free Right Now," 2 Apr. 2020 Travel news is flying fast despite all the disruption, and there are still ways to feed our wanderlust, inspire future journeys, and contribute to global conservation. National Geographic, "10 ways to get your travel fix from home," 29 Apr. 2020 If your wanderlust is strong, here are some custom Zoom backgrounds to tide you over. Los Angeles Times, "Oh, the places you’ll (virtually) go!," 20 Apr. 2020 But despite travel bans and self-isolating, there is still a way to feed our wanderlust and explore the world beyond our living room. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "Travel the world in spite of coronavirus by reading these 10 transporting travelogues," 20 Mar. 2020 For many of us, adjusting to a less nomadic lifestyle has meant finding creative ways to sate our wanderlust, from reminiscing about past trips to planning for future ones. Erin Riley, Outside Online, "This Virtual Tour Cured My Travel Withdrawal," 17 Apr. 2020

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

1875, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wanderlust

German, from wandern to wander + Lust desire, pleasure

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Time Traveler for wanderlust

Time Traveler

The first known use of wanderlust was in 1875

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Statistics for wanderlust

Last Updated

17 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wanderlust.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wanderlust. Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for wanderlust


How to pronounce wanderlust (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wanderlust

: a strong desire to travel

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More from Merriam-Webster on wanderlust

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wanderlust

Spanish Central: Translation of wanderlust

Nglish: Translation of wanderlust for Spanish Speakers

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