\ 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

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 Woods created his own slice of history Thursday night by becoming the first Presidents Cup captain to use one of his wild-card selections on himself. BostonGlobe.com, "US captain Tiger Woods picks himself to play in Presidents Cup - The Boston Globe," 8 Nov. 2019 Their 23-17 road win in the AFC wild-card round was proof of that. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "The Ravens beat the Bengals a month ago, but a rare rematch could be tricky: ‘They play out a lot differently’," 8 Nov. 2019 The Nats’ playoff run — from the wild-card game through their seven games with the Houston Astros — was fun, exciting and loaded with unexpected twists and turns. Washington Post, "The Nationals’ playoffs run offers lessons for all of us," 7 Nov. 2019 Woods created his own slice of history Thursday night by becoming the first Presidents Cup captain to use one of his wild-card selections on himself. Doug Ferguson, The Denver Post, "The captain becomes a player as Tiger Woods picks himself to play Presidents Cup," 7 Nov. 2019 And even then, that tie could cost them a wild-card spot, because 10 wins might not be enough, either. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions' playoff hopes on life support with almost no hope of recovery," 4 Nov. 2019 For a team that only reached the wild-card game last season, minor technical improvements could mean a return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2014. Adam Renuart, CNN, "Patriots face the Ravens, and other things to watch for this NFL Sunday," 3 Nov. 2019 Lake Nona kept its hopes of snagging the final wild-card playoff berth in Class 8A, Region 2 alive with a 13-10 home win Friday vs. East River. Jason Beede, orlandosentinel.com, "Lake Nona tops East River," 2 Nov. 2019 But New York fell to 41-51 with a loss in its first game following the All-Star break and could climb only to the periphery of the wild-card race before finishing 86-76, third in the division behind Philadelphia and World Series champion Washington. Mike Fitzpatrick, Houston Chronicle, "Source: Mets to hire former Astro Carlos Beltrán as manager," 1 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Chrome has had its share of similar flaws, which have also been exploited in the wild. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Actively exploited bug in fully updated Firefox is sending users into a tizzy," 5 Nov. 2019 Currently, around 40 adult dingoes at the sanctuary are part of the program, helping to conserve the dingo’s dwindling numbers in the wild. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Lonely Puppy Likely Dropped in Australian Yard by Bird Turns Out to Be a Wild Dingo," 4 Nov. 2019 About 850 are alive, with about 660 of them in the wild. USA TODAY, "Lighthouse in peril, Wizard Rock, cable a la carte: News from around our 50 states," 4 Nov. 2019 In the wild, this enables them to determine where north is, and then use this information to fly south. Fiona Mcmillan, National Geographic, "From dung beetles to seals, these animals navigate by the stars," 4 Nov. 2019 After three months of recovering following an injury, a bald eagle is back in the wild. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'He flew beautifully': A bald eagle injured by a vehicle is released back into the wild," 4 Nov. 2019 The preliminary findings were presented at a workshop of the American Bison Society in the buffalo-raising Native American community of Pojoaque, amid impassioned discussions about ensuring the iconic mammal’s lasting place in the wild. Washington Post, "Time ticks away at wild bison genetic diversity," 3 Nov. 2019 This means that in the wild, a Kentucky coffeetree seed may take several years to germinate. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Aye, aye Buckeye. Here's the secret to growing a tree from seed in your Kentucky backyard," 1 Nov. 2019 However, sometimes humans drift apart after high school -- and similarly, not all the lab bat friendships survived in the wild. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Vampire bats form close friendships and help each other, study finds," 31 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The crowd, meanwhile, went wild over the unexpected show. Eric Todisco, PEOPLE.com, "Lady Gaga and Ashanti Just Performed a Surprise Duet of 'Foolish' in Las Vegas," 28 Oct. 2019 The crowd went wild: Guasave was now home to the Algodoneros — the Cotton-Pickers — part of an expansion of Mexico’s premier Pacific League, one of several winter leagues in Latin America. Washington Post, "AMLO, the World Series-watching president, wants to Make Mexican Baseball Great Again," 24 Oct. 2019 Three American League teams are fighting for the two spots, while there are four clubs within four games of the final National League wild-card berth. Matt Martell, SI.com, "Which Wild-Card Contenders Are Facing the Most Pressure?," 9 Sep. 2019 The second consecutive victory by the Brewers over the Cubs allowed them to pull within three games of Chicago in the National League wild-card race with one game remaining between the clubs Sunday. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 3, Cubs 2: Christian Yelich gives Brewers a victory they had to have with walk-off double," 7 Sep. 2019 At 66-70, the Giants are seven games back of the Chicago Cubs, currently second in the National League wild-card race. Jeff Faraudo, The Mercury News, "Loud cheers but no magic in Pablo Sandoval’s likely last cameo," 1 Sep. 2019 Cleveland held the top American League wild-card slot at 74-51. David Waldstein, New York Times, "The Mets’ Homestand Should Reveal Who They Really Are," 20 Aug. 2019 The Falcons lost, 16-6, to Palos Verdes in a CIF Southern Section Division III wild-card match. Charles Rich, Glendale News-Press, "Looking Back: Crescenta Valley registers multiple championships in 2018-19 season," 31 July 2019 Like a half-dozen other clubs in the National League wild-card race, the Diamondbacks have been unable separate themselves from doldrums of the .500 mark. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks continue to be haunted by one-run losses," 17 Aug. 2019

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

12 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Wild.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wildness. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for wild

How to pronounce wild (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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