\ ˈwend \
wended; wending; wends

Definition of wend

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to direct one's course : travel

transitive verb

: to proceed on (one's way) : direct


\ ˈwend \

Definition of Wend (Entry 2 of 2)

: a member of a Slavic people of eastern Germany

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Did You Know?

Wend is related to the verb "wind," which means, among other things, "to follow a series of curves and turns." It is also a distant relative of the verb "wander." "Wend" itself began its journey in Old English as windan, meaning "to twist." "Wend" has twisted itself into various meanings over the years. Most of its senses-including "to come about," "to depart," "to change," and "to betake"-have since wandered off into obscurity, but its current sense of "to direct or to proceed" is holding steady on the path.

Examples of wend in a Sentence


We wended through the narrow streets. We wended our way through the narrow streets.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Just up the mountain lay some of the most extreme in-bounds terrain in America; on our other flank, Galloping Goose, a beginner run that wends more than four and a half miles to the base of the mountain. Alex Bhattacharji, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Telluride Keeps Being Named the Best U.S. Ski Town," 5 Dec. 2018 But consider a curvy path like I-95, which wends and winds its way along the Eastern seaboard. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Can Driving the Inside Lane on the Highway Shorten Your Trip?," 16 Nov. 2018 As DeWolfe’s new criminal case wended its way through court, State Police commenced an internal investigation into Hanafin’s and Benevento’s actions. Shelley Murphy, BostonGlobe.com, "‘The fact that she could have been stopped that morning is heartbreaking’," 29 Apr. 2018 All moved slowly through choreography at times, some beneath a waterfall, amid a set alive with fauna, greenery wending up two dome structures that moved slowly around as Rihanna's women slinked in and out. Fox News, "Rihanna surprises fans with Gigi and Bella Hadid in her Savage X Fenty runway show," 13 Sep. 2018 The protest organizers oppose more military spending, and attracted a high-spirited, diverse crowd of thousands that wended through central Brussels while demonstrating on behalf of multiple causes during the peaceful march. Fox News, "European peace activists march against Trump's NATO visit," 7 July 2018 Reflecting that sense of public desperation, Sutter faces two other major suits — from employers and consumers — which are wending their way through the courts, both alleging anticompetitive conduct and inflated pricing. Chad Terhune, latimes.com, "California hospital giant Sutter Health faces heavy backlash on prices," 15 May 2018 That motion is still wending its way through city council, with a vote expected later this year. Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Magazine, "Is There Any Hope for L.A.’s Terrible Streets and Sidewalks?," 7 May 2018 Reflecting that sense of public desperation, Sutter faces two other major suits — from employers and consumers — which are wending their way through the courts, both alleging anticompetitive conduct and inflated pricing. Chad Terhune, Washington Post, "California Hospital Giant Sutter Health Faces Heavy Backlash On Prices," 16 May 2018

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


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


1786, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wend


Middle English, from Old English wendan; akin to Old High German wenten to turn, Old English windan to twist — more at wind


German Wende, from Old High German Winida; akin to Old English Winedas, plural, Wends

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Statistics for wend

Last Updated

4 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for wend

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

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More Definitions for wend



English Language Learners Definition of wend

literary : to move from one place to another


\ ˈwend \
wended; wending

Kids Definition of wend

: to go from one place to another

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More from Merriam-Webster on wend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wend

Spanish Central: Translation of wend

Nglish: Translation of wend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wend for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wend

Comments on wend

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


excited commotion or publicity

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