\ 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

Usually, such education-equity cases wend their way through state courts, as all 50 state constitutions mandate public-education systems, while the country’s guiding document doesn’t even include the word education. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "In America, Schools Aren’t Required to Teach Kids to Read and Write," 6 July 2018 And while the matter wends its way through family court, Johnny has primary custody of the boys. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Johnny Bench Is Already a Hall-of-Famer, But He's Looking For a New Distinction," 5 July 2018 President Trump has ordered that they be kept locked up while their cases wend their way through immigration courts, a process that often can take months or years. Jazmine Ulloa, latimes.com, "Trump administration ups its estimate of children separated from their parents to 3,000; about 100 are toddlers," 5 July 2018 Several similar cases are wending their way through the federal-court system. The Economist, "A court with a solid conservative majority could reshape American life," 5 July 2018 There are more than 2,500 bankruptcy cases wending their way through India’s notoriously slow legal system. Iain Marlow, Bloomberg.com, "India’s Push to Fast-Track Bankruptcies," 26 June 2018 The London march flowed in bands of color through the heart of the city, wending along Piccadilly and around Trafalgar Square before heading to Parliament. Jill Lawless, BostonGlobe.com, "Events mark centenary of women’s vote in UK," 10 June 2018 Or an even longer ride on the public bus, the only accessible public transit option, which tortuously wends its way through the Los Angeles hills. Clive Thompson, WIRED, "Elon Musk Presents His Tunnel Vision to the People of LA," 18 May 2018 Small antibodies can work inside cells, and their size allows them to wend deep into tissues, which regular antibodies have a hard time penetrating. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, "Mini-antibodies discovered in sharks and camels could lead to drugs for cancer and other diseases," 10 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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Dictionary Entries near wend







Wendy house

Statistics for wend

Last Updated

2 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

: 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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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).


an open space surrounded by woods

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