\ ˈwend How to pronounce wend (audio) \
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 How to pronounce Wend (audio) \

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

Verb We wended through the narrow streets. We wended our way through the narrow streets.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Occator impact cracked Ceres’s crust, leaving fractures that deep brines could use to wend their way up to the surface. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Dwarf planet closest to Earth is geologically alive," 10 Aug. 2020 In San Francisco, lines for trendy—and now, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, takeout-only—restaurants wend about the block. Aarian Marshall, Wired, "As Cities Reopen, Expect to Wait in Lots of Lines," 15 June 2020 With the session on hold, uncertainty over hundreds of bills that were still wending through the Capitol when lawmakers adjourned in late March. Andrew Oxford, azcentral, "Legislature won't yet reconvene, as some lawmakers call for immediate end to stay-at-home order," 30 Apr. 2020 Now, however, scientists have revealed a strange new way that warmth can wend its way from point A to B. Through the bizarre quantum-mechanical properties of empty space, heat can travel from one place to another without the aid of any light at all. Charles Q. Choi, Scientific American, "Space Heater: Scientists Find New Way to Transfer Energy Through a Vacuum," 11 Dec. 2019 Inside, a three-story waterfall symbolizes the Nile wending through 10 African countries before arriving in Egypt. Declan Walsh And Somini Sengupta Graphics By Jeremy White Photographs By Laura Boushnak, New York Times, "For Thousands of Years, Egypt Controlled the Nile. A New Dam Threatens That.," 9 Feb. 2020 Inside, a three-story waterfall symbolizes the Nile wending through 10 African countries before arriving in Egypt. Declan Walsh, BostonGlobe.com, "For thousands of years, Egypt controlled the Nile. A new dam threatens that.," 9 Feb. 2020 As buses carrying the players and team officials wended their way along the parade route, pitcher Max Scherzer at one point hoisted the World Series trophy to the cheers of the crowd. USA TODAY, "Lighthouse in peril, Wizard Rock, cable a la carte: News from around our 50 states," 4 Nov. 2019 Various legal challenges are wending their way through the courts. Carolyn Said, SFChronicle.com, "Uber, Lyft, DoorDash campaign for California gig law exemption has 1 million signatures," 27 Feb. 2020

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 entry 3


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

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Learn More about wend

Time Traveler for wend

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

25 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wend. Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for wend


How to pronounce Wend (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wend

literary : to move from one place to another


\ ˈwend How to pronounce wend (audio) \
wended; wending

Kids Definition of wend

: to go from one place to another

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