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

Eye masks work wonders for dark under-eye circles caused by fatigue, allergies, and aging (and probably, in Carrie's case, intense crying sessions as seen in her new music video). Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Carrie Underwood's $3 Secret to a Flawless Face Following Her Scary Injury," 8 June 2018 The camera then switches places to show us his eyes peering out through the slot in wonder. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Sorry to Bother You Is a Brilliant Black Comedy About Race, Labor, and Magic," 29 June 2018 Check out these can’t-miss July 4 celebrations The Interns' Take: This show-stealing box of wonders opened with a geyser of glittery golden sparks. Adesuwa Agbonile And Julia Sclafani, sacbee, "Our interns ranked the best Fourth of July fireworks so you don't have to," 28 June 2018 And the economic refugees fleeing Madiganistan with all their worldly goods on their backs, stared in wonder at the head, which was quite still. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "The Khan of Madiganistan keeps his head by severing another's," 7 June 2018 The wooded heights of the Allegheny looked down in solemn wonder at the scene of the most terrible destruction that ever struck the romantic valley of the Conemaugh. sandiegouniontribune.com, "June 1, 1889: Johnstown flood," 1 June 2018 If not, here's a list of 10 of some of the one-hit wonders from the 2010s. Lawrence Elizabeth Knox, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Symphony presents a nostalgic journey of one-hit wonders," 25 May 2018 Thanks to our dark sky friendly lighting codes, Flagstaff is a destination for taking in the natural wonder that is the night sky. Jessica Levy, azcentral, "Lowell Observatory continues to foster employees as it grows," 14 May 2018 From his window in a tight double cul-de-sac in Overland Park a few years ago, Jack Shelton gazed out in wonder at the deft navigation of the trash truck. Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "Treasure in trash: KCK mom works as garbage collecter to give her kids what they need | The Kansas City Star," 11 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And, for those wondering how best to do waistcoat style, there has been a spike in online advice columns addressing the issue. New York Times, "How Gareth Southgate Made the Waistcoat a Surprise World Cup M.V.P.," 13 July 2018 The Broward slaying of rapper XXXTentacion a month ago has left many young fans wondering whether to mourn or condemn the 20-year-old rising star. Isabella Rafky, miamiherald, "Young fans mourn XXXTentacion, but many judge slain rapper by his violent past," 12 July 2018 When Viviane breaks down and wonders why we are even born, her other half suggests, rather philosophically, that that’s just a part of life. Boyd Van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Swing' ('Al Marjouha'): Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 12 July 2018 Both Apple and Google recently announced that their smartphone operating systems will soon offer tools to help control usage better—although critics wonder if those features just put the burden of action back on users. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Driving Without a Smartphone," 10 July 2018 These days, social habits are changing so fast that some wonder whether the prince is, in fact, pursuing a social and religious transformation under the guise of an economic one. The Economist, "A wild rideRadical reforms in Saudi Arabia are changing the Gulf and the Arab world," 21 June 2018 Bryant was among a handful of longtime Intel executives who left the company during Krzanich’s stint as CEO, leading some tech observers and analysts to wonder if Intel would reach out to her as a possible replacement. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "Former Intel Executive Diane Bryant Is Leaving Google After Joining Last Fall," 3 July 2018 Small wonder that scientists want to copy the cockroach, one of the most durable creatures around. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Harvard Robotic Cockroach Walks Underwater," 3 July 2018 As President Trump escalates what could become a damaging and protracted trade war with China, many in the U.S. movie business are beginning to wonder whether Hollywood might soon get drawn into the fray. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "Will Hollywood Get Caught in Trump's China Trade War Crossfire?," 13 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

8 Sep 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

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


the setting in which something occurs

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