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

The mix of striped wallpaper (a discontinued Schumacher print), white subway tile, and gray cabinets doesn't compete with the wild botanical outside the bathroom door. Amanda Sims, House Beautiful, "11 Truly Surprising Ways to Use Color," 11 Mar. 2019 The three couples wear various wild outfits in the luxe visuals. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Priyanka Chopra and Sophie Turner Serve the Wildest Looks in the New Jonas Brothers Video," 1 Mar. 2019 See pages 64 and 117 of the wild House testimony of Glenn Simpson—head of Fusion GPS, the organization behind the Steele dossier. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "Schiffting to Phase 2 of Collusion," 21 Feb. 2019 This delightful species provides year-round interest and produces one of the most delicious wild fruits (like a blueberry, only … better). Colin Mccrate, The Seattle Times, "Our native evergreen huckleberry brings dynamic color and oodles of fruit to your edible shade garden," 20 Feb. 2019 Minimalist and icy, Arctic captures the utter indifference of wild nature to human existence — and the will of some humans to keep on existing anyhow. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Arctic is a pure distillation of the man vs. nature genre," 1 Feb. 2019 Synthetic biology could open Pandora’s box, releasing new organisms into the wild with unforeseen consequences. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Military Wants to Create Synthetic Life Forms to Track Enemies," 4 Dec. 2018 This isn't just a case of someone appearing in a sneaky Instagram story and fans running wild with speculation and hope; no, this is a real, honest to god declaration of coupledom. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Camila Mendes Confirms She's Dating 'Riverdale' Costar Charles Melton," 7 Oct. 2018 Once common across the Southeast, the red wolf had been considered extinct in the wild as of 1980. Alex Derosier, The Seattle Times, "North Carolina gov: Endangered wolf protection should stay," 31 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There’s Bear Men in Them Hills Native Americans weren’t the only ones seeing this hairy, primate creature roaming the wilds of America. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Science Meets Legend: The Story of Our Search for Bigfoot," 8 Oct. 2018 The family has gone through ups and downs, most recently matriarch Ami Brown’s lung cancer—and have relocated to the wilds of Washington state. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "‘Alaskan Bush People' Cast: How Well Do You Know the Brown Family?," 23 Sep. 2018 But while Reynolds was attempting to protect Carrie from the wilds of Hollywood, Fisher was having his own fun. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Carrie Fisher's brother Todd details their tense last conversation," 10 July 2018 Discover the summer bounty of plants found in the wilds of southeast Wisconsin. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Food and drink events: Cooking classes, wine tastings, more (Summer 2018 edition)," 6 July 2018 Run Wild’ by David Covell David Covell’s rhyming, highly sensory book follows an indoor kid into the wilds of Maine in summer. Heather Hansman, Outside Online, "A 3-Year-Old Reviews Outdoorsy Kids' Books," 5 July 2018 For the streaming giant's first foray into unscripted television, five gay men were dispatched to the wilds of Georgia to preach the gospel of hygiene, fashion and confidence to men who live in one of the most conservative states in the country. Jessica M. Goldstein, chicagotribune.com, "'Queer Eye's' Jonathan Van Ness is a one-man meme machine ready to take down toxic masculinity," 21 June 2018 The tragedy occurred near the end of one of the many outdoor adventures the three shared together through the wilds of northeastern Oregon. Shane Dixon Kavanaugh, OregonLive.com, "Boys who died rafting Oregon river lived for adventures with Dad," 5 June 2018 These parents have the Herculean task of supporting their children through wilds of Liberty High. refinery29.com, "The Parents Of Thirteen Reasons Why, Ranked," 24 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The crowd went wild, according to a video Bowling shared with the Louisville Courier-Journal. Cleve Wootson, chicagotribune.com, "Kentucky crowd cheered valedictorian for quoting Trump. Then he told them it was Obama.," 4 June 2018 On April 21, the Powdersville High School dubbed two students prom king and queen – and just like any other year, the crowd went wild. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "This Teen Won Prom King in a Dress, Then Got Bullied By His Classmates' Parents," 1 May 2018 Despite modest spring-training expectations from oddsmakers and analysts, the Oakland Athletics have emerged as baseball’s biggest surprise, surging into an American League wild-card spot with about six weeks remaining in the regular season. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "The Most 2018 Team in Baseball: the A’s," 14 Aug. 2018 And even if the Rays had somehow won their game earlier in the evening, the A’s 7-3 victory over the Mariners would have cemented at least a spot for Oakland in the American League wild-card game. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "It’s a celebration at Safeco Field, but visiting A’s enjoy all the fun of making playoffs," 24 Sep. 2018 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

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

19 Mar 2019

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)

: 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wild

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wild

Spanish Central: Translation of wild

Nglish: Translation of wild for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wild for Arabic Speakers

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