\ 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 Nicole Zhao, 38, was one of many who had to wend, dodge, and hopscotch their way through barriers that had been set up on the roads. Austin Ramzy, BostonGlobe.com, "Hong Kong protesters squeeze access to the airport," 1 Sep. 2019 After some preliminary text, the filmmakers deftly commence chronicling Wang’s story, which wends through the documentary, wedding the personal to the political. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "‘One Child Nation’ Review: Controlling Minds and Bodies," 8 Aug. 2019 The legislative session ends Sept. 13 but Ting said there’s enough time for the bill to wend its way through. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Bill looks to boost California’s rebate for buying an electric vehicle," 5 Aug. 2019 Some fossils wend their way to scientific institutions, but others go to private collections, and owners may or may not support research on their holdings. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Ancient bird foot found in amber has bizarrely long toes," 11 July 2019 Meanwhile, more than 40 lawsuits against drug companies are wending their way through state courts. Anchorage Daily News, "Purdue Pharma reaches tentative settlement in federal lawsuit and some state litigation," 11 Sep. 2019 According to Mexican immigration authorities, since January there have been 10,393 returns by migrants to Mexico while their cases wend their way through U.S. courts. Peter Orsi And Christopher Sherman, chicagotribune.com, "After Mexico-U.S. tariff deal, migration experts raise concerns over what it could mean," 8 June 2019 Aleksandar Hemon is the latter kind of writer, and his obsession is exile—a theme both as old as The Odyssey and as pressing as the migrant caravans wending their way northward to the United States. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "Aleksandar Hemon’s Lost Eden," 6 June 2019 There’s a $287 billion transportation bill wending its way through Congress, with—finally!—some money to fight climate change. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Hand-Crafted Bentleys, a Climate Bill, and More Car News This Week," 4 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for wend

Last Updated

25 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for wend

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on wend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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