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 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


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

July 4 is all about explosions here in the United States—big, bright, ear-drum-shatteringly loud explosions that fill the sky with wonder (and also turn dogs into puddles of fear). Jon Tayler, SI.com, "Ranking the 10 Best Home Runs of 2019 So Far," 4 July 2019 But Ford and his best friend Edison qualified as American icons, having blessed the public with wonders never previously imagined. Jeff Guinn, WSJ, "The Invention of the Summer Road Trip," 29 June 2019 Our efforts in treading untraveled paths have been filled with wonder and have been deeply enriching. Bitasta Das, Quartz India, "How I engage students of India’s premier science school in folk arts," 27 June 2019 Her first reflections about the journey were filled with wonder — the freedom of traveling on her own, of living free of violence — but the weight of unsaid trauma hung in the air. Alice Driver, Longreads, "Oh, Girl!," 20 June 2019 Oswalt is a fine replacement for Max, able to connect with the character’s timidity, wonder and blossoming courage. Mark Kennedy, Detroit Free Press, "‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ is a worthy sequel," 6 June 2019 What every traveler yearns for is surprise and wonder, and nothing beats following the bread crumbs of serendipity. Ken Geiger, National Geographic, "Take a solo safari through South Africa’s wild grasslands," 30 May 2019 But then something happened in the mid-20th century: The great unknown of space overtook the vastness of our ocean, both as a place of wonder and as a territory to be conquered. Eric Desatnik, Quartz, "We should care more about the deep sea than we do deep space," 20 June 2019 The sound had a sense of of wonder and a festival edge. Kat Bein, Billboard, "San Holo Looks Back on 'Album1' Tour: 'A Chapter of My Life Translated Through Music'," 13 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On the red carpet, celebrities opted for long ponytails and protective styling, which is a problem-free philosophy for anyone who may be wondering how to maintain their natural hair this summer. Essence, "All The Amazing Hair From The Lion King Premiere," 10 July 2019 After Amazon's viral DIY backyard shed took the world by storm, the internet was wondering just exactly what someone would do with such a tiny space. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "These Homeowners Turned a Tiny Guest House Into a Dreamy Backyard Library," 8 July 2019 Watching her Paris adventures, one has to wonder whether Dion has always been a fashion icon in the making. Marianna Cerini, CNN Style, "How Celine Dion became the queen of couture week," 4 July 2019 For those who wondered how long the leashes would be on struggling Milwaukee Brewers hitters Travis Shaw and Jesús Aguilar, the answer for one surfaced Thursday evening. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Reports: Brewers optioning Shaw, designating Pérez for assignment, calling up Hiura and Saladino," 27 June 2019 While the pop-country song drew cheers from many city leaders in attendance, it was shredded on social media and raised eyebrows among San Jose’s artistic community, who wondered why Team San Jose decided to outsource its talent. Sal Pizarro, The Mercury News, "‘San Jose’ song draws rebuke from multicultural arts leaders," 27 June 2019 But there’s a part of me that wonders, is this a financial motive? Madison Roberts, PEOPLE.com, "Gage Edward Shares Smiling Selfie with Daughter Monroe Amid Custody Battle with Ex Jeff Lewis," 25 June 2019 For weeks, the jewelry world breathlessly awaited the Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence auction at Christie's New York, wondering what extraordinary prices the Al Thani family's collection of Indian jewelry and jeweled objects would fetch. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "The Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence Sale Breaks Auction Records," 20 June 2019 Now that lawmakers have finally approved gambling-expansion legislation to allow a casino in the south suburbs, people are wondering where the casino will be located. Ted Slowik, Daily Southtown, "Slowik: South suburban towns are jockeying for a casino. 'We all believe we have the best site.'," 11 June 2019

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

14 Jul 2019

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wonder

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wonder

Spanish Central: Translation of wonder

Nglish: Translation of wonder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wonder for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wonder

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