\ 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

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 Orioles have won seven of their last eight games to surge up the standings, including the first two games against the Blue Jays (60-50), who hold the top wild-card spot. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 11 Aug. 2022 At the game’s end Thursday, the Sox were still 4½ games back of a wild-card spot. Julian Mcwilliams, BostonGlobe.com, 11 Aug. 2022 When the series ended with Wednesday’s 13-7 crushing loss, the fading Giants found themsleves 7 1/2 games back of the Padres, who hold possession of the National League’s final wild-card spot. John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Aug. 2022 Now the Sox are back to 4-1/2 games out of a wild-card spot with the Braves, Orioles and Yankees on the schedule at Fenway Park this week. Jason Mastrodonato, Hartford Courant, 8 Aug. 2022 Entering play Sunday, the Mariners (58-51) occupied the third and final playoff spot in the American League wild-card standings, although they were tied with the fourth-place Baltimore Orioles (56-51) in the loss column. Richard Morin, USA TODAY, 7 Aug. 2022 Things changed in the postseason when Ogunjobi suffered a leg injury in Cincinnati’s wild-card playoff victory over the Las Vegas Raiders at Paul Brown Stadium. Kelsey Conway, The Enquirer, 5 Aug. 2022 He was traded there at the deadline last year and immediately struggled, batting just .160 down the stretch and going 0 for 4 in the team’s wild-card playoff loss to the Boston Red Sox. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2022 Still in contention despite a .500 record, Chicago is only three games out in the weak American League Central and also three games behind in the wild-card chase. Dan Schlossberg, Forbes, 3 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The game is split between Animal Crossing-like recruitment and hometown management, with actual gameplay out in the wild that more resembles Hades and its endless runs through different maps. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 12 Aug. 2022 This area of Minnesota is one of the only places in the country where this crop that for centuries has been central to the culture and economy of the local indigenous people still grows in the wild. Evan Halper, Washington Post, 11 Aug. 2022 Atop the list was the impressive resilience of Juan Pablo Quinoñez, who survived 78 days in the wild and took home the overall title and the $500,000 prize purse. Frederick Dreier, Outside Online, 11 Aug. 2022 Experts estimate that less than 10,000 red pandas live in the wild. Fox News, 11 Aug. 2022 Suddenly, outdoorsy functional clothing not worn in the wild became trendy. Bernd Fischer, Men's Health, 10 Aug. 2022 The World Health Organization considers polio to be endemic in Pakistan and Afghanistan, meaning that the polio virus still exists in the wild. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 9 Aug. 2022 Bibi and her newborn will spend the next two weeks bonding in private, which is about the amount of time a mother hippo in the wild would take their baby away from their bloat (a collective term for the animal). Glenn Garner, Peoplemag, 5 Aug. 2022 Unfortunately for Liu, the stew contains the leftover maggots because, in the wild, nothing goes to waste. Keith Langston, EW.com, 2 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Advocates encourage businesses to use local, seasonal, and wild-grown ingredients, and tap into ancestral farming and foraging techniques. Zinara Rathnayake, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Aug. 2022 As a bonus, the super soft fabric helps to prevent bedhead and hair breakage (and keep curls from going wild overnight!). Olivia O'bryon, Forbes, 4 Aug. 2022 This wild-looking machine represents a more long-term view of where N-car powertrain development might go, while also paying homage to the earliest days of Hyundai's history. Dan Edmunds, Car and Driver, 15 July 2022 For fish and seafood, look for wild-caught or sustainably farmed when possible. Stefani Sassos, Ms, Rdn, Cso, Cdn, Nasm-cpt, Good Housekeeping, 27 June 2022 Still, a pound of farmed and wild-caught salmon is sold profitably at supermarkets for about $10 and $20 respectively, so Wildtype has a long way to go. Brian Kateman, Forbes, 6 June 2022 Meats are certified as free from antibiotics, steroids, and hormones, and seafood is wild-caught or sustainably raised. Erica Sweeney, SELF, 4 Jan. 2022 How many endorsements offers will a tailback for Clemson or Georgia receive on Sunday morning after running wild on Saturday night? Terence Moore, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 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, 28 Jan. 2021 See More

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.

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near wild



wild adler

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for wild

Last Updated

14 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wild.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wild. Accessed 20 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for wild


\ 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)

More from Merriam-Webster on wild

Nglish: Translation of wild for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wild for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!