won·​der | \ ˈwən-dər How to pronounce wonder (audio) \

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
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 How to pronounce wondering (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Wonder (audio) \

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 How to pronounce wonderer (audio) \ noun

Examples of wonder in a Sentence

Noun 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? Verb 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 And even when Naina is able to finally become a teacher, her troublemaking class presents a new issue, making her wonder if her dreams really are within reach. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "26 Bollywood Movies to Move to the Top of Your Watch List," 5 Oct. 2020 That Governor Wallace had allowed the schools in Huntsville to integrate was a wonder, and there was heavy speculation as to why. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "The Quiet Desegregation of Alabama’s Public Schools," 29 Sep. 2020 It’s no wonder homeowners are clamoring for more colorful kitchens. Jessica Dailey, WSJ, "White Kitchens Are Getting Kicked to The Curb," 25 Sep. 2020 And that made her wonder how the sparrows were responding to the quieter conditions. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "When COVID-19 silenced cities, birdsong recaptured its former glory," 24 Sep. 2020 Oddsmakers are expecting this to be the highest scoring game of the week, and there’s no wonder why as the Falcons (0-1) and Cowboys (0-1) combined for 886 yards of offense last week, while combining to allow 805 yards. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "N.F.L. Week 2 Predictions: Our Picks Against the Spread," 17 Sep. 2020 It’s no wonder this place has been named to Travel+Leisure’s World’s Best awards year after year and always makes the list for most romantic spots in the world. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "3 of the Best Places to Stay in Santa Barbara Right Now," 1 Sep. 2020 It’s no wonder average Americans tuned out long ago. Editorial New York Times, Star Tribune, "Bipartisan Senate report makes clear how Russia and Trump campaign conspired," 20 Aug. 2020 Those two minutes made her wonder how many more elephant deaths had been misidentified. Lorena Villanueva-almanza, The Indianapolis Star, "'Devastating' virus killed 2 Indianapolis Zoo elephants. Their deaths may save others.," 12 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That phrase had disappeared by the 2001 edition, leading him to wonder if some editor noticed the error and tempered the claims. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "‘A Million Random Digits’ Was a Number-Cruncher’s Bible. Now One Has Exposed Flaws in the Disorder.," 24 Sep. 2020 That performance has led some studios to push back releases even further and some wonder whether more will follow. Lindsey Bahr, USA TODAY, "'Tenet' hits $250K globally, but moviegoers are mostly staying home amid COVID-19 pandemic," 21 Sep. 2020 With the costs so high, some in favor of a closure might wonder why the city wouldn't just use the pool of free meter removals to close portions of Mass Ave. Ethan May, The Indianapolis Star, "Some businesses loved Mass Ave's street closures. But they can't be permanent. Here's why.," 21 Sep. 2020 Some may wonder if the virus is spreading at something close to an exponential rate, which can result in the number of new cases doubling rapidly, quickly overwhelming health care resources. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "SDSU tallies 444 coronavirus cases and first hospitalization," 9 Sep. 2020 Some may wonder about the optics of Swift winning her third album of the year award before Beyoncé wins her first. Paul Grein, Billboard, "Taylor Swift Has Already Won Two Grammys for Album of the Year. Could She Win a Third? Should She?," 8 Sep. 2020 And, with the cost of solar and wind plunging, some wonder if small reactors make economic sense even with their lower price tags. Will Wade, Bloomberg.com, "Mini-Reactors Are Gaining Traction in the Push for Greener Grids," 31 Aug. 2020 Some now wonder if the Biden campaign will deliver, after dangling the possibility of a serious investment in trying to flip the state. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Biden is supposedly targeting Texas but you wouldn’t know it from Democratic convention lineup," 14 Aug. 2020 With future state funding dependent on an economy that has been racked by the coronavirus pandemic, some wonder if Oregon’s ability to prepare for the worst natural disasters is being undermined. oregonlive, "Loss of high-level engineer at state geology agency is ‘a detriment to public safety in Oregon’," 3 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for wonder

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wonder

Last Updated

11 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wonder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wonder. Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for wonder


How to pronounce Wonder (audio)

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 How to pronounce wonder (audio) \
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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