won·​der | \ˈwən-dər \

Definition of wonder 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1a : a cause of astonishment or admiration : marvel it's a wonder you weren't killed the pyramid is a wonder to behold

b : miracle

2 : the quality of exciting amazed admiration

3a : rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one's experience

b : a feeling of doubt or uncertainty


wondered; wondering\ ˈwən-​d(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of wonder (Entry 2 of 4)

intransitive verb

1a : to be in a state of wonder

b : to feel surprise

2 : to feel curiosity or doubt wondering about the future

transitive verb

: to be curious or in doubt about wonders why birds sing



Definition of wonder (Entry 3 of 4)

: wondrous, wonderful: such as

a : exciting amazement or admiration wonder toys

b : effective or efficient far beyond anything previously known or anticipated a wonder fabric


biographical name
Won·​der | \ˈwən-dər \

Definition of Wonder (Entry 4 of 4)

Stevie 1950–     born Stevland Hardaway Judkins American singer, songwriter and instrumentalist

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Other Words from wonder


wonderer \ ˈwən-​dər-​ər \ noun

Examples of wonder in a Sentence


The Grand Canyon is one of the natural wonders of the world. This new computer is a technological wonder. The child's eyes were filled with wonder during the trip to the circus. We watched the fireworks show with wonder and amazement. She gazed up at the tall buildings in wonder. Is it any wonder why this movie is so popular?


Have you ever wondered why the sky is blue? Who could that be at the door, I wonder? She wondered aloud what to do with the money. I was wondering about that. Sometimes his behavior makes me wonder.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

My sour attitude was transformed into one of childlike wonder. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Benedict Cumberbatch voices the Grinch in the new movie. It’s pretty fun!," 9 Nov. 2018 In following the work of the honeybee from one springtime to the next, children will pick up not only a bit of information but also a sense of wonder and even admiration. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Tales of Bravery and Brilliance," 8 Nov. 2018 The expressions of wonder on the faces of dozens of schoolchildren who’d been invited by Richard Quinn to watch his show—to me this was the most beautiful sight of Spring 2019. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Our Very Favorite Moments From the Spring 2019 Collections," 10 Oct. 2018 What better antidote to the Monday morning blues than a proper dose of childlike wonder and whimsy? Dan Barna, Teen Vogue, "Emily Blunt Is Absolute Magic in the New "Mary Poppins Returns" Trailer," 17 Sep. 2018 Although many of Battle’s creations use the relics from the past that originally made circuit bending popular, there’s something singular and fresh about his pure curiosity and ability to transform toys into items of wonder. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "Circuit bending: Hacking a Furby in the name of music," 14 Sep. 2018 While taking his kids to the carousel in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, Disney dreamed of a place full of wonder and magic that the whole family could enjoy together. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "From Death Traps to Disneyland: The 600-Year History of the Roller Coaster," 13 Aug. 2018 India put all of us into the same place of wide-eyed wonder. Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "18 Summers: The Ultimate Guide to Not Wasting a Single Vacation With Your Kids," 20 July 2018 Whatever the topic, Ms. Magic speaks with a faraway sense of wonder, her hazel eyes seeming to sparkle. Alex Williams, New York Times, "Tech Elites Recreate Burning Man Inside Their Living Rooms," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

South Sudan's warring parties on Wednesday agreed to a permanent cease-fire to take effect in 72 hours, as long-suffering citizens wondered whether this latest attempt at peace would fall apart as well. Sam Mednick, The Christian Science Monitor, "South Sudanese cease-fire brings hope, skepticism for conflict's end," 28 June 2018 Some even wondered whether he might be seized by Pakistani agents during his stopover in Abu Dhabi, where the airline is based. The Economist, "Nawaz Sharif returns to Pakistan, and jail," 14 July 2018 Ever wonder what is hanging out below your feet in open water? Kelli Bender, ajc, "'Horror' lizardfish and weird unidentifiable creatures found chilling off Carolina coast," 13 July 2018 One wonders: Is it also their favorite music video? Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "Ariana Grande's "God Is A Woman" Video Features...Puppet Meerkats," 13 July 2018 Observers now wonder whether the end of fighting with Ethiopia will lead Eritrea to open up and embrace new freedoms. ___ Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP_Africa Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. Washington Post, "Eritrea leader visits Ethiopia on Saturday in historic thaw," 13 July 2018 Thirty years ago, Sandi Hill wondered why California, of all places, hadn’t followed other states in offering an Olympics-style event for youths. Glae Thien, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego's Cal State Games turning 30," 12 July 2018 Astronomers have wondered about this since cosmic rays were first discovered, way back in 1912. Mike Wall, NBC News, "High-energy 'ghost particle' traced to distant galaxy in astronomy breakthrough," 12 July 2018 Some observers wonder if Trump may have fixated on one point of view in particular. Brian Bennett, Time, "How Brett Kavanaugh Could Change the Supreme Court—and America," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wonder.' 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 wonder


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wonder


Middle English, from Old English wundor; akin to Old High German wuntar wonder

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Learn More about wonder

Dictionary Entries near wonder



won't bite





Statistics for wonder

Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wonder

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

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More Definitions for wonder



English Language Learners Definition of wonder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something or someone that is very surprising, beautiful, amazing, etc.

: a feeling caused by seeing something that is very surprising, beautiful, amazing, etc.

: something that is surprising or hard to believe



English Language Learners Definition of wonder (Entry 2 of 2)

: to have interest in knowing or learning something : to think about something with curiosity

—used to ask a question or make a polite request

: to feel surprise or amazement


won·​der | \ˈwən-dər \
wondered; wondering

Kids Definition of wonder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to be curious or have doubt I wonder if we're lost.

2 : to feel surprise or amazement We wondered at the number of stars.



Kids Definition of wonder (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something extraordinary : marvel the wonders of nature

2 : a feeling (as of astonishment) caused by something extraordinary He examined the machine with wonder.

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Comments on wonder

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full of whispering sounds

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