\ˈwī(-ə)ld \

Definition of wild 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : living in a state of nature and not ordinarily tame or domesticated wild ducks

b(1) : growing or produced without human aid or care wild honey

(2) : related to or resembling a corresponding cultivated or domesticated organism

c : of or relating to wild organisms the wild state

2a : not inhabited or cultivated wild land

b : not amenable to human habitation or cultivation also : desolate

3a(1) : not subject to restraint or regulation : uncontrolled also : unruly

(2) : emotionally overcome wild with grief also : passionately eager or enthusiastic was wild to own a toy train — J. C. Furnas

b : marked by turbulent agitation : stormy a wild night

c : going beyond normal or conventional bounds : fantastic wild ideas also : sensational

d : indicative of strong passion, desire, or emotion a wild gleam of delight in his eyesIrish Digest

5 : characteristic of, appropriate to, or expressive of wilderness, wildlife, or a simple or uncivilized society

6a : deviating from the intended or expected course wild spelling— C. W. Cunnington the throw was wild also : tending to throw inaccurately a wild pitcher

b : having no basis in known or surmised fact a wild guess

7 of a playing card : able to represent any card designated by the holder



Definition of wild (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a sparsely inhabited or uncultivated region or tract : wilderness

2 : a wild, free, or natural state or existence



Definition of wild (Entry 3 of 3)

: in a wild manner: such as

a : without regulation or control plants that grow wild

b : off an intended or expected course

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Other Words from wild


wildish \ˈwī(-ə)l-dish \ adjective
wildness \ˈwī(-ə)ld-nəs \ noun

Examples of wild in a Sentence


wild places high in the mountains I felt a wild rage. He was wild with anger. The crowd went wild when the band took the stage.


They hiked through the wilds of Maine. The plants were collected from the wild. They will return the animal to the wild when it is healthy. Could these animals survive in the wild? I've only seen that animal in a zoo, never in the wild.


These plants grow wild on the roadside. as soon as the doors opened, early-morning bargain hunters ran wild through the store
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

His offense is still far too wild to be reliable, but that's what the three years are for. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "NBA Free Agency 2018: Under-the-Radar Grades," 4 July 2018 The zoo stated that all donations will go to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of all giraffes in the wild — of which there are currently only about 100,000 worldwide. Thomas Leavy, CBS News, "San Antonio Zoo seeks rights to Toys "R" Us mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe," 29 June 2018 Visitors learn how soldiers ate rations, such as hard tack, given to them by the military, or searched for food in the wild such as squirrels and herbs. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Civil War Days event in Lake County shows many sides of the 1860s experience," 20 June 2018 This practice looks like another sound idea run wild. Alan S. Blinder, WSJ, "What to Do When the Labor Market Stops Working for Workers," 11 June 2018 The decade’s rock ’n’ roll musicians and showgoers alike were letting their manes run wild and free. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Why Stevie Nicks Is the Ultimate Festival Hair Muse," 9 June 2018 Still, the sky-high price of the Apple Watch Edition illustrates the natural conclusion of a consumer electronics market much more concerned with pumping new gadgets into the wild than supporting the ones that already exist. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Apple's $10,000 Apple Watch Is About to Be Obsolete," 5 June 2018 Float Fest: Mellow Australian psych rockers Tame Impala headline the wet-and-wild annual festival, which also will feature Snoop Dog, Modest Mouse and Run the Jewels. Jim Kiest, San Antonio Express-News, "Concerts coming in 2018-2019 to San Antonio," 4 June 2018 Residents of such countries often depend on wildlife to support the local economy, in part by attracting tourists who want to see animals like elephants and rhinos run wild. Justin Worland, Time, "Drones Are Helping Catch Poachers Operating Under Cover of Darkness," 31 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Participants will meet in Jakarta, Indonesia, followed by immersion in the wild that includes paddling canoes into the Bornean swamp, home to proboscis monkeys and orangutans. Anne Harnagel, latimes.com, "Women-only Borneo tour includes viewing orangutans and komodo dragons," 9 July 2018 The very act of transforming the wild into the civilized is a social one, requiring many people to work together. Charles Stanish, Smithsonian, "How Feasting Rituals Help Shape Human Civilization," 5 July 2018 Once Lorax gets her X-rays and blood work done, and when she is confirmed healthy, the Wild Bird Fund plans to send her to the Raptor Trust, an aviary rehabilitation center in New Jersey that prepares birds for release back into the wild. Aaron Robertson, New York Times, "An Unusual Jailbird Is Found at Rikers Island: A Snowy Owl," 3 July 2018 Younger birds are more vulnerable and less likely to survive in the wild than older ones, but older birds could crowd the nest and attract predators. National Geographic, "Birds That Leave Nest Too Late Can Endanger Their Families," 25 June 2018 One tank is home to about 200 of them, none bigger than a newborn human’s fingernail, that the lab’s dive team will eventually transfer to the wild among the kelp forests the Bay Foundation restored of Palos Verdes. Degen Pener, Los Angeles Magazine, "What’s Being Done to Revive L.A.’s Decimated Abalone Population," 22 June 2018 Steady starting pitching — Take out the wild, 13-12 win over the Rockies on Sunday and the Rangers' rotation has put together a nice run. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Five reasons the Rangers have a five-game winning streak," 21 June 2018 After doubling to lead off the fourth inning Mazzone scored the game’s first run when a wild throw to second rolled into center field, allowing Mazzone to easily reach home. Brandan Blom, BostonGlobe.com, "Newton North, Methuen reach Division 1 North softball final," 15 June 2018 Everyone wants to write about seeing a cheetah in the wild or feeling the thundering migration of wildebeest. Spud Hilton, SFChronicle.com, "The 7 lessons Anthony Bourdain taught us about travel," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

When del Potro stood up and raised his arms in the air, the crowd went wild. Tom Perrotta, WSJ, "Kevin Anderson Upsets Roger Federer at Wimbledon," 11 July 2018 After the win, fans went wild all over Paris, and many congregated on the famous Champs-Elysees with plenty of flags and chants. Charlotte Carroll, SI.com, "Watch: Fans Go Wild in Paris to Celebrate France Advancing to World Cup Final," 10 July 2018 And the library goes wild: There's more to do than just read at the St. Francis Public Library, 4230 S. Nicholson Ave. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "5 Things-to-do this week in the southern suburbs," 9 July 2018 By the end, in one of the video’s best shots, she and the dancers are going wild in the Louvre basement, and topless men are jumping for joy in front of the sphinx. Jason Farago, New York Times, "At the Louvre, Beyoncé and Jay-Z Are Both Outsiders and Heirs," 17 June 2018 Almost as soon as the news that Jud Buechler had resigned as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers to accept the same position with the New York Knicks leaked out onto the Internet, his cell phone went wild. Terry Monahan, Pomerado News, "Poway High alum joining Knicks as assistant coach," 21 June 2018 Playing on the road Wednesday afternoon against Downey in a CIF Southern Section Division III wild-card game, the Indians scored a run in the top of the first inning to stake themselves to an early lead. Jeff Tully, latimes.com, "Burroughs baseball out hits Downey, but is plagued by errors in playoff loss," 17 May 2018 The crowd goes wild. ************ A few weeks later, back at home, Roy Cooper is hanging out in the den at his ranch, watching football and sipping on a Fireball mini. Melissa Lyttle, Smithsonian, "The First Family of Rodeo," 13 Dec. 2017 Bring them to a party or serve them at your own and watch the crowd go wild. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "17 Meatless Recipes That Are Perfect for Grilling Season," 15 May 2018

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


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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1562, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wild


Middle English wilde, from Old English; akin to Old High German wildi wild, Welsh gwyllt

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Statistics for wild

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wild

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

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More Definitions for wild



English Language Learners Definition of wild

 (Entry 1 of 3)

of an animal : living in nature without human control or care : not tame

of a plant : growing or produced in nature : not grown or farmed by people

of land : not changed by people : not settled or developed



English Language Learners Definition of wild (Entry 2 of 3)

the wilds : a large area of land where people do not live and where plants, trees, etc., grow freely

the wild : a wild, free, or natural place, state, or existence



English Language Learners Definition of wild (Entry 3 of 3)

: without being controlled


\ˈwīld \
wilder; wildest

Kids Definition of wild

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : living in a state of nature and not under human control and care : not tame wild animals

2 : growing or produced in nature : not cultivated by people wild honey wild grapes

3 : not civilized : savage They sought out wild places in the mountains.

4 : not kept under control : not restrained wild rage a wild party

5 : made without knowledge a wild guess

6 : done without accuracy a wild throw

7 : going beyond what is usual wild colors

8 : enthusiastic wild applause

Other Words from wild

wildly adverb
wildness noun



Kids Definition of wild (Entry 2 of 2)

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