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 The book became an international bestseller and sparked wonder, debate, criticism, and two sequels. Steven Kurutz, BostonGlobe.com, "Michael Drosnin, who found clues in the Bible, is dead at 74," 21 June 2020 No wonder many moderate Spaniards fear that a golden age of democratic progress has come to an end, and that the country is reverting to older, more destructive habits. The Economist, "Too many setbacks A historian sets out to explain Spain’s tumultuous past," 20 June 2020 Little wonder that Stanford students have traditionally divided themselves into Techies and Fuzzies; their institution was founded on the divorce between the two. Jessica Riskin, The New York Review of Books, "Just Use Your Thinking Pump!," 17 June 2020 No wonder so many wingnuts rushed to prop up this Kentucky Derby party of a movie. Drew Magary, The New Republic, "The Gentlemanly Hater’s Guide to Gone With the Wind," 17 June 2020 The wildly popular, all-seasons wonder that is the Gatlinburg SkyBridge had to be closed briefly Monday night after park officials said a guest cracked one of the glass panels on the bridge. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "Gatlinburg’s SkyBridge is back open after guest damaged glass panel on bridge," 16 June 2020 Little wonder, then, that a gaggle of often reticent players created a virtual layup line on Twitter to dunk on their overlords. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Who wants to shame a billionaire? MLB's owners won't act unless their hands are forced," 15 June 2020 With a health-care market this dysfunctional, little wonder the U.S. spends 18% of gross domestic product on health. Vidar Jorgensen, WSJ, "A Real Market in Medical Care? Singapore Shows the Way," 15 June 2020 No wonder a fan tried to run out on the course on Friday. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "How to watch Charles Schwab Challenge 3rd round live stream: TV info, tee times for The Colonial," 13 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ever wonder what happens to all that unclaimed luggage? Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "The Place That Sells Airports' Unclaimed Baggage Just Launched an Online Store," 22 June 2020 As coronavirus cases rise in Contra Costa County, health officials wonder if the increase can be attributed to the rapid reopening plan. Kellie Hwang, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: Doctors give green light to come in for a checkup," 18 June 2020 Analysts began to wonder if American politics had entered a post-partisan era. Lee Drutman, The New Republic, "How Democracy Dies at the Ballot Box," 18 June 2020 But as the real estate market comes back to life, buyers, sellers and the agents that work with them wonder how long that demand will last and what the prices will be like in a post-shutdown market. Anna Bahney, CNN, "NYC home sales came to a halt this spring. But things are about to change," 18 June 2020 In Lynn’s example, some wonder whether the star prospects that appear to benefit most from showcases and social media buzz would’ve seen their recruitments flourish already based on their natural size, skill and game film. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "What’s the value of recruiting showcases? Coronavirus cancellations could settle the third-party debate," 17 June 2020 With respect to Floyd’s killing, one may wonder why the prosecution stopped short of seeking indictment for first-degree murder, which requires an intent to kill and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, "How the Charges Against Derek Chauvin Fit Into a Vision of Criminal-Justice Reform," 17 June 2020 Europeans also wonder whether the apps are placing nations on a slippery slope toward a new kind of surveillance state, or handing over too much power to foreign tech giants. Adam Satariano, BostonGlobe.com, "Europe rolls out contact tracing apps, with hope and trepidation," 16 June 2020 Others wonder if a mercurial American president might be tempted to take dramatic steps concerning Taiwan to put fresh meat on the bones of his increasingly anti-China stance in the run-up to November elections. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, "How China’s heavy steps in Hong Kong reverberate in Taiwan," 12 June 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

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wonder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wonder. Accessed 2 Jul. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on wonder

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wonder

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wonder

Spanish Central: Translation of wonder

Nglish: Translation of wonder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wonder for Arabic Speakers

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