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
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 How to pronounce wonder (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 Wonder (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 When a young rapper options a song from one-hit-wonder 90's girls group Girls5Eva, suddenly, the women have another shot at stardom. Samantha Highfill, EW.com, "The women of Girls5Eva discuss those hilarious songs, Tina Fey's Dolly Parton, and more," 7 May 2021 For her, these open questions enhance her sense of wonder. Dwight Weingarten, The Christian Science Monitor, "Bug-eyed about invading cicadas? They might teach you some life lessons.," 4 May 2021 A couple of months ago, fourth-generation owner Nancy Warwick got unexpected news that made her wonder how much longer the store would be in existence. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Happy ending for Warwick’s bookstore as local investors step in to save the day," 2 May 2021 In the hours before sunrise, the moon, emerging at sudden moments from a sea of clouds, seemed to transform the sky and suggest new worlds of wonder. Washington Post, "Tuesday gave our top temperature and a super moon," 28 Apr. 2021 The book is so realistic about slavery, but there is a sense of wonder in those little breaks from reality. Hunter Harris, Town & Country, "How Barry Jenkins and Colson Whitehead Made The Underground Railroad," 25 Apr. 2021 Today, people are pining for brands to bring us a spoonful of joy, a bit of wonder, a dash of levity, a dollop of warmth. Paul Earle, Forbes, "How Brands Can Win In The Emerging New Economy," 14 Apr. 2021 By the end, Phillips has weaved his way to a broader wrangling with mortality and human frailty, and a sense of wonder for what death will bring. Carl Phillips, The Atlantic, "As From a Quiver of Arrows," 4 Apr. 2021 Who hasn’t felt a burst of wonder—or as Aristotle called it, thaumazein—when a story pivots unexpectedly? Angus Fletcher, Smithsonian Magazine, "Eight of Literature’s Most Powerful Inventions—and the Neuroscience Behind How They Work," 10 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Some residents are upset; others, while voicing support for the premise, wonder what will happen instead. Justin Fenton, baltimoresun.com, "Can Baltimore end the War on Drugs? As Marilyn Mosby takes lead on decriminalization, few public health alternatives are in place," 30 Apr. 2021 There is reason to wonder if the Dolphins will use the No. 6 to select Sewell after investing draft capital on offensive linemen in the 2020 draft. oregonlive, "NFL draft 2021: Miami Dolphins reportedly considering Penei Sewell at No. 6 after big trade," 28 Apr. 2021 Some wonder how this will shift the power equation within a supermind. Ganes Kesari, Forbes, "Collective Intelligence Is About To Disrupt Your Strategy: Are You Ready?," 28 Apr. 2021 That has alarmed some young people, who wonder where their own pensions will come from if nothing changes. New York Times, "A Graying China May Have to Put Off Retirement. Workers Aren’t Happy.," 27 Apr. 2021 It’s a confusing time for many parents and students who may wonder whether to return to class at all while the different speeds of reopening increase inequities along language, race and geographic fault lines. Los Angeles Times, "How can parents navigate school reopenings? Ask L.A. Times reporters," 27 Apr. 2021 Many wonder what Biden's first 100 days as first lady tell us to expect about her next four years in the most famous unpaid and undefined job in the world. USA Today, "First lady Jill Biden’s first 100 days: How ‘Dr. B’ is transforming antiquated FLOTUS role," 27 Apr. 2021 The members, mostly juvenile-court judges, wonder if the test deters people from joining the CASA program, which has a chronic shortage of volunteers. Mary Jo Pitzl, azcentral, "Help or hindrance? Judges explore lie-detector requirement for foster volunteers," 21 Apr. 2021 There’s good reason to wonder if vaccines will work differently in pregnant and lactating people. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, "New Parents Are Now Vaccinating for Two," 31 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective It’s no wonder European markets are drooling at the prospect of grabbing a bigger slice of the SPAC pie. Adrian Croft, Fortune, "Two age-old European trading rivals are at loggerheads again—this time over SPACs," 4 Mar. 2021

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

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wonder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wonder. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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 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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