\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

The first problem is the simple loss of the biodiversity around us, on which wild ecosystems depend. Rob Dunn, Discover Magazine, "Our Attempts to Eradicate Insects are Just Making them Resistant to Pesticides," 16 Nov. 2018 This happy discovery marks the first time in more than 50 years that eastern quolls have been born in the wild on mainland Australia. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Endangered Eastern Quolls Are Born on Mainland Australia for the First Time in 50 Years," 10 July 2018 Printed in black and white, the picture is wild and fierce. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Out of the shadows and into the light: 'Chiaroscuro Woodcut' is a sleeper hit at LACMA," 5 July 2018 Last season was one wild ride for the San Antonio Symphony: An aborted takeover by major funders, the brief cancellation of the season and the formation of a city/county task force to try to find solutions to long-standing problems. Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News, "After a bumpy season, the San Antonio Symphony in a stronger, sunnier place," 3 July 2018 Watching this episode must've been wild for Molly Ringwald, Luke Perry, Skeet Ulrich, and all the other Riverdale parents who were once huge teen stars. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Riverdale Season 3 Episode 4 Recap: All the Breakfast Club References," 7 Nov. 2018 The fans are wild with enthusiasm; the fans are cruelly disappointed. S.c. Gwynne, WSJ, "‘In the Name of the Father’ Review: The Manning Mystique," 31 Aug. 2018 The beaches—and even roads—are said to be wild, and there are only about 100 villas available to rent. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "Prince George and Princess Charlotte Play Shopkeepers with Grandma Carole Middleton at Her Party Planning Company," 24 July 2018 Some predictions were wild, others were surprisingly accurate. The Economist, "Ceasefires in South Sudan seldom last," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Shadows move over the land as the day passes and as the fox hunts—and then is hunted right back, to the security of his lair—in this graceful armchair excursion into the wild. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Season’s Readings," 30 Nov. 2018 From there, Red Hat would provide support for those systems, up to and including the option to customize the software to a given company's needs, always releasing the results into the wild to build ever more support for the free software underneath. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Why IBM Paid $34 Billion for a Company That Gives Away Software for Free," 29 Oct. 2018 Collins told Fox News the 6-inch spider, which many identified as a fishing spider, was not harmed and released back into the wild. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Indiana man warns locals to 'beware' of giant spiders after spotting 6-inch crawler at work," 2 Oct. 2018 Those who have played Pokémon Go will already have some grasp of how Niantic’s AR technology works in the wild. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is delayed," 14 Nov. 2018 Designers flew all over the world to observe domestic habits in the wild. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "The Washing Machine of the Future," 15 Oct. 2018 For Witherspoon, the best part of hanging out in Sedona was clearly the company—and the feeling that comes from being in the wild. Vogue, "Reese Witherspoon Chose This Arizona Town for an Outdoorsy Girls Trip," 11 Oct. 2018 As in, a huge majority of Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS machines in the wild. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Google’s Project Stream: That’s really a full Assassin’s Creed in my browser," 9 Oct. 2018 Once Google’s next phone is in the wild, the value of your older Google Pixel or Google Pixel 2 phone will greatly diminish. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "How to trade in your old Pixel phone," 8 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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 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

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

10 Dec 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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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

Comments on wild

What made you want to look up wild? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

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