\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Ravens finished the 2020 season with an 11-5 record and entered the playoffs as a wild-card team, but were eliminated in the divisional round in a 17-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh pays for everyone's meal at restaurant," 25 Feb. 2021 After finishing 16 games behind Tampa Bay in the 60-game season — and behind the wild-card Yankees — the Red Sox would need everything to go right to make a run at the playoffs. Jimmy Golen, courant.com, "Bloom says Red Sox have talent to bounce back from lost 2020," 21 Feb. 2021 Two wild-card selections, regardless of position, will round out the rosters. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Heat’s Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler bypassed as All-Star Game starters," 18 Feb. 2021 Now financially secure and raising a young family, McGregor still lives a wild life at times, but it is cushioned by a growing sense of his finite time left in sports — despite his brash pronouncements of youth — and his evaluation of his legacy. oregonlive, "How to watch UFC 257 live stream with Conor McGregor’s return on ESPN Plus: Fight card, odds, time, PPV cost, McGregor vs Poirier (1/23/2021)," 24 Jan. 2021 Now financially secure and raising a young family, McGregor still lives a wild life at times, but it is cushioned by a growing sense of his finite time left in sports — despite his brash pronouncements of youth — and his evaluation of his legacy. Greg Beacham, Star Tribune, "Conor McGregor returns at UFC 257 with big dreams intact," 22 Jan. 2021 These remnant nurseries offer respite for birds in winter including rare long-eared owls that roost in singles to small groups, as well as rabbits and other wild life that take cover within the leaves. Sheryl Devore, chicagotribune.com, "Lake County’s aromatic evergreens beckon in winter," 24 Dec. 2020 And then Sunday happened, as the wild-card Buccaneers hoisted the Lombardi Trophy that the Saints thought would belong to them this year. Rod Walker, NOLA.com, "Walker: Saints have owned NFC South past 4 years, but Bucs' Super Bowl run shows race has changed," 8 Feb. 2021 Tampa Bay qualified for a wild-card spot in the NFC playoffs with an 11-5 record, then reeled off three road victories in the playoffs to become the first team in NFL history to play at home in the Super Bowl. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Trade gives Steve McLendon championship opportunity," 7 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There are about 22,000 to 31,000 polar bears in the wild, and their numbers are projected to decline for decades to come. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "Nan the polar bear, orphaned above the Arctic Circle 26 years ago, moves into Como Zoo," 25 Feb. 2021 First, scientists thought the ferret was extinct, after frustrated ranchers poisoned almost all of the animals in the wild. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "This Ferret Died 33 Years Ago. Scientists Just Brought Her Back to Life.," 19 Feb. 2021 To portray a woman determined to stick it out on her own in the wild – no car, no running water, no electricity – Wright got schooled in shooting game, chopping wood and fishing. Andrea Mandell, Detroit Free Press, "Robin Wright went all in on ‘Land’," 12 Feb. 2021 In the wild, a single mushroom can drop between one to thirty billion spores per day, but faced with countless microbial competitors and widely varying environments, very few of these spores actually germinate. Joanna Steinhardt, Wired, "Hackers, Mason Jars, and the Psychedelic Science of DIY Shrooms," 12 Feb. 2021 Your character in Land really teaches Robin’s character how to survive in the wild. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Is Land the First Great Film About Social Distancing?," 12 Feb. 2021 Also known as Siberian tigers, the apex predator's population in the wild has shrunk to about 500, living primarily in eastern Russia's birch forests, near the Amur River. Jenna Ross, Star Tribune, "Minnesota Orchestra plays with tigers and bears for its first TV children's concert," 8 Feb. 2021 This population count showed that the number of wolves in the wild grew by 24%, according to the Mexican gray wolf interagency field team. Anton L. Delgado, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix Zoo sends Mexican gray wolves packing as officials survey imperiled species," 2 Feb. 2021 That's the case with iOS 14.4, released earlier this week, which addresses not one but three bugs that attackers may be using in the wild, according to Apple's accompanying security update. Brian Barrett, Wired, "Security News This Week: Update Your iPhone and iPad Now If You Haven't Recently," 30 Jan. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wild

Time Traveler for wild

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for wild

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wild.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wild. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!