wan·der·lust | \ˈwän-dər-ˌləst \

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

Click through to check out the movies that will surely inspire a serious case of wanderlust. refinery29.com, "Movies That Inspire Wanderlust, For When You Desperately Need A Vacation," 28 June 2018 See below for the wanderlust-inducing photos from the book. Kathleen Knowles & Aerin Reed, Town & Country, "Inside Carlos Souza and Charlene Shorto de Ganay's Portugal Paradise," 26 June 2018 From the dramatic to the idyllic, Hawaii’s landscapes awe and inspire us—and fuel our wanderlust. Sunset, "test APost," 22 Jan. 2018 The magnetized case and wanderlust-y packaging also got praises around the Glamour office. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "Urban Decay's Born to Run Palette Is as Perfect for Summer as It Gets," 6 June 2018 Once again, the subject of wanderlust arose: Barkham and Pickford were in agreement that, simply put, being outdoors was essential for wellness. Thomas Barrie, A-LIST, "Notes from the Hay Festival," 5 June 2018 The book’s discoveries chart shifts in geology, climate, politics and culture with an optimistic sense of wanderlust. New York Times, "Why Old Enclaves and New Islands Matter to Travelers," 24 May 2018 The Nigerian model, who shows off some of Ralph Lauren’s chicest Spring 2018 looks in the wanderlust-y video above, knows a thing or two about travel. Vogue, "Around the World in 40 Seconds With Supermodel Mayowa Nicholas," 22 May 2018 And of course, bask in all the beautiful wanderlust glory of the French Riviera. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Live Vicariously Through These Celebrity Instagrams From Cannes Film Festival," 14 May 2018

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

The first known use of wanderlust was in 1875

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English Language Learners Definition of wanderlust

: a strong desire to travel

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Comments on wanderlust

What made you want to look up wanderlust? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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