wander

verb
wan·​der | \ ˈwän-dər How to pronounce wander (audio) \
wandered; wandering\ ˈwän-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce wandering (audio) \

Definition of wander

intransitive verb

1a : to move about without a fixed course, aim, or goal
b : to go idly about : ramble wandering around the house
2 : to follow a winding course : meander
3a : to go astray (as from a course) : stray wandered away from the group
b : to go astray morally : err
c : to lose normal mental contact : stray in thought his mind wandered

transitive verb

: to roam over wandered the halls

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Other Words from wander

wander noun
wanderer \ ˈwän-​dər-​ər How to pronounce wanderer (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for wander

wander, roam, ramble, rove, traipse, meander mean to go about from place to place usually without a plan or definite purpose. wander implies an absence of or an indifference to a fixed course. fond of wandering about the square just watching the people roam suggests wandering about freely and often far afield. liked to roam through the woods ramble stresses carelessness and indifference to one's course or objective. the speaker rambled on without ever coming to the point rove suggests vigorous and sometimes purposeful roaming. armed brigands roved over the countryside traipse implies a course that is erratic but may sometimes be purposeful. traipsed all over town looking for the right dress meander implies a winding or intricate course suggestive of aimless or listless wandering. the river meanders for miles through rich farmland

wander, roam, and ramble mean to move about from place to place without a reason or plan. wander is used for moving about without following a fixed course. The tribes wandered in the desert for forty years. roam is used for the carefree act of wandering over a wide area often for the sake of enjoyment. I roamed over the hills and through the meadows. ramble is used for wandering in a careless way. Horses rambled over the open range.

Examples of wander in a Sentence

I was just wandering around the house. They wandered down the street. Students were wandering the halls. He wandered away from the trail and got lost.
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Recent Examples on the Web

And this haunting,—ineffably sweet, inexplicably sad,—may fill you with rash desire to wander over the world in search of somebody like her. Jonathan Dee, The New Yorker, "Why Lafcadio Hearn’s Ghost Stories Still Haunt Us," 9 Sep. 2019 Throw rocks or other objects, and don’t let children wander alone. Anna Bauman, SFChronicle.com, "Two mountain lion sightings reported in Golden Gate Park, Lake Merced in recent weeks," 6 Sep. 2019 Magic, and its evolving rules, gives D&D its storytelling power, letting players’ minds wander beyond the real world. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "Why D&D Modernized Its Magic for a New Generation of Fantasy," 1 Sep. 2019 Next stop is the city’s farmer’s market, which runs Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon and then an hour to wander around downtown where many businesses have decorated and will have special offers. Catalina Righter, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Downtown Westminster businesses, farmers market to welcome hundreds of McDaniel College freshmen Saturday," 23 Aug. 2019 Down in Rossland, the region’s other anchor town, bed down at the brand-new Josie Hotel, at the foot of Red Mountain, the perfect base camp from which to wander the town’s backyard trail network. Outside Online, "The Best Places to Savor Fall in British Columbia," 14 Aug. 2019 General admission tickets cost $25 per person, which includes 45 minutes for visitors to wander the space and explore their creative visions. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "Wall Crawl, an Instagram-worthy photo studio, opens in Parramore," 6 Aug. 2019 That arrangement includes a private yard space with room for the Nelsons’ Great Dane to wander, and gives them access to the OakwoodLife amenity scene at Fairway Villas — reflecting Oakwood’s growing reputation for age-55-plus communities. Mark Samuelson, The Denver Post, "“We love it.” New residents at Fairway Villas react to their low-maintenance ranch and its OakwoodLife amenities," 25 July 2019 The intruder continued to wander around the plane before jumping on the wing and trying to get into the cabin, the airline said in a news release. Fox News, "Intruder detained after jumping on wing of Nigeria plane prior to takeoff," 20 July 2019

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for wander

Middle English wandren, from Old English wandrian; akin to Middle High German wandern to wander, Old English windan to wind, twist

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Statistics for wander

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wander

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

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More Definitions for wander

wander

verb

English Language Learners Definition of wander

: to move around or go to different places usually without having a particular purpose or direction
: to follow a path with many turns
: to go away from a path, course, etc.

wander

verb
wan·​der | \ ˈwän-dər How to pronounce wander (audio) \
wandered; wandering

Kids Definition of wander

1 : to move about without a goal or purpose : ramble
2 : to get off the right path or leave the right area : stray “She would never wander far away alone … you know how timid she is.”— Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea
3 : to lose concentration My mind began to wander.
4 : to follow a winding course The path wanders through the woods.

Other Words from wander

wanderer noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on wander

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wander

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wander

Spanish Central: Translation of wander

Nglish: Translation of wander for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wander for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wander

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