\ ˈwī(-ə)ld How to pronounce wild (audio) \

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 How to pronounce wild (audio) \ adjective
wildness \ ˈwī(-​ə)ld-​nəs How to pronounce wild (audio) \ noun

Examples of wild in a Sentence

Adjective 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. Noun 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. Adverb 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 Alvarez Giselle had a three-run home run and two-run single in a wild game between two of the Southern Section’s top hitting teams. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Roundup: Santa Margarita receives strong pitching in 1-0 baseball win over Bishop Amat," 13 Apr. 2021 Sagittarius midheavens are wild at heart with a lust for life. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "What Your Midheaven Sign Tells You About Your Professional Life," 4 Apr. 2021 Hugus ran for third base, and the throw there was wild, as well. Adam Lichtenstein, sun-sentinel.com, "Devin Futrell leads American Heritage to close win over Wellington," 31 Mar. 2021 The results are wild—even the wildest brow hairs can be tamed and slicked up into a faux-brow lamination look. Tatjana Freund, Marie Claire, "The Soap Brow Trend, Explained," 19 Mar. 2021 By 1940, wild game was returning to the land, and by the late 1940s, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission had leased some of the property as a game refuge. James Brandenburg, Outdoor Life, "This Proposed Sale of Public Land in Arkansas Is All Too Common for Hunters Everywhere," 13 Mar. 2021 There are hearty bean stews studded with wild game, Flintstone-size steaks of black Aliveña beef, and snappy chorizo sausages that gush hot, heavenly juices. Benjamin Kemper, Bon Appétit, "Patatas Revolconas Are Garlicky, Porky Mashed Potatoes," 11 Mar. 2021 Perez threw a scoreless seventh inning, but his command was wild and his fastball velocity maxed out at 88.9 mph. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers prospect Matt Manning strikes out Bryce Harper in 6-4 loss to Phillies," 10 Mar. 2021 In almost every sense of the word, the Palmer Archipelago in Antarctica is wild. Leah Feiger, The Atlantic, "Antarctica Is Running Out of Wilderness," 3 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To simulate the seasonal changes in the wild, the researchers created a space that would mimic temperature and lighting changes similar to those during summer and winter in Madagascar, Gizmodo reports. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Studying Lemur Hibernation Could Make Long-Distance Space Travel Easier One Day," 2 Apr. 2021 As this highly-contagious strain of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus spreads across the country, correspondent Conor Knighton reports on what's being done to protect rabbits at home and in the wild. CBS News, "This week on "Sunday Morning" (April 4)," 2 Apr. 2021 Transmission of the disease most often occurs through animals in the wild. Taelor Boston | Al.com, al, "Mobile County Health Department to host drive-thru clinics for rabies shots," 2 Apr. 2021 The average lifespan of a giraffe in captivity is 20 to 25 years, longer than the 10 to 15 years in the wild, according to the park. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, "April, the giraffe known for viral 2017 pregnancy, dies," 2 Apr. 2021 Through mid-April, birders can glimpse the majestic birds in the wild at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and the Texas Coastal Bend. Caroline Rogers, Southern Living, "Learn About the Port Aransas Whooping Cranes," 1 Apr. 2021 The shy forest elephants have lost nearly nine-tenths of their number in a generation and are now critically endangered — just one step from extinction in the wild. Elizabeth Preston New York Times, Star Tribune, "Some elephants in Africa are just a step from extinction," 1 Apr. 2021 Known only from a few carcasses washed ashore in California, they had never been documented alive in the wild. J. B. Mackinnon, The Atlantic, "Beaked Whales Are the Animals We Need Right Now," 30 Mar. 2021 They are considered to be a vulnerable species in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund, and have been protected by the Ecuadorian government since 1970. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, "Galapagos Islands airport staff discover 185 baby tortoises wrapped in plastic inside suitcase," 30 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Fraud could manifest as claims of farmed shrimp being wild-caught, or as complete misrepresentations of the species you’re supposedly being served. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "If Subway's tuna isn't tuna, what is it? Bay Area lawsuit won't say," 28 Jan. 2021 All seafood is wild-caught sustainably in Alaska, flash frozen and packed in coolers with dry ice. Eleanore Park, WSJ, "Online Seafood Buying Guide: Where the Chefs Shop," 10 Dec. 2020 Chavie had been afraid to talk to such a wild-sounding person as Chani Getter, but on the phone Chani was very friendly. Larissa Macfarquhar, The New Yorker, "When One Parent Leaves a Hasidic Community, What Happens to the Kids?," 30 Nov. 2020 Unlike most property owners, the couple wants wild-growing weeds and as many animals walking around and pooping on their property as possible. Dallas News, "Becoming a ‘conscious carnivore’: Texas bison harvest shows meat-eaters how to honor the animal," 5 Oct. 2020 In 2020, there’s no excuse for a wild-flying broadhead. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "How to Pick the Right Broadhead for Deer Season," 22 Sep. 2020 Once this bushveld stretched wild over half of the country, but today it has been largely partitioned off and contained behind tall fences. Lois Parshley, Scientific American, "How Climate Change Is Making It Harder to Predict Outbreaks," 1 May 2018 The research, published last month in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, looked at the behavior of 40 garter snakes—30 of them wild-caught, 10 captive-bred. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Cold-Blooded, but Not Cold-Hearted, Garter Snakes Form Friendships," 18 May 2020 Of course, Devi hopes Robyn's bittersweet dance song won't be her high school anthem since this straight A student has got her sights set on the hottest boy in school Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet), who has moms going wild too, FYI. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, "Every Song In Never Have I Ever Will Make You Feel Sixteen Again (In A Good Way)," 28 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for wild

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wild

Last Updated

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wild.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wild. Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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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)

: a large area of land where people do not live and where plants, trees, etc., grow freely
: a wild, free, or natural place, state, or existence



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

: without being controlled


\ ˈwīld How to pronounce wild (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on wild

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wild

Nglish: Translation of wild for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wild for Arabic Speakers

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