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 No wonder Cleveland is the most stressed city in America, according to WalletHub’s Most and Least Stressed Cities in America in 2020 report, released Monday. Julie Washington, cleveland, "Job insecurity, no sleep and traffic jams: Cleveland is most stressed-out city in U.S., says WalletHub survey," 13 July 2020 Though privately, many wonder whether public criticisms will alter the president’s conduct. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "'Republicans are really fed up': GOP increasingly splits with Trump as his polls drag," 12 July 2020 No wonder Williams was sweating during the post-practice interview. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix Suns adapting to Orlando bubble life," 10 July 2020 Little wonder that many of the readers who rated it so highly are repeat customers, especially for landmark celebrations. Sara Clemence, Travel + Leisure, "The Top 10 Tour Operators," 8 July 2020 No wonder, given the pandemic politics of Brazil's man in charge. Bill Weir, CNN, "Brazil opens itself up, to everything except masks," 6 July 2020 No wonder Italians linger over spritzes in sunny piazzas without ill effects. Tina Danze, Dallas News, "The spritz isn’t going anywhere: Why it’s still our favorite summer cocktail," 30 June 2020 Those working in the local wine industry wonder if Rombauer, with an annual case production of 300,000, will be a boost for tourism or alter the region’s folksy appeal. Chris Macias, SFChronicle.com, "Napa’s Rombauer brings its butter-bomb Chardonnay to its new tasting room in Gold Country," 22 June 2020 Or, just frame it as a reminder to always keep that childhood sense of wonder forever. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "How to Photograph Fireflies on Your iPhone Like a Professional," 11 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That’s what everyone keeps saying. Gotta wonder, though. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "For college football, the stakes are too high to ignore," 9 July 2020 Some frustrated Americans are left to wonder why the U.S. can't seem to get its act together, especially after it was given fair warning as the virus wreaked havoc in China and then Italy, Spain and New York. CBS News, "Americans face COVID-19 test delays as virus surges: "A hot mess"," 9 July 2020 Some frustrated Americans are left to wonder why the U.S. can't seem to get its act together, especially after it was given fair warning as the virus wreaked havoc in China and then Italy, Spain and New York. Author: Christopher Weber, Sophia Tulp, Anchorage Daily News, "Americans face testing delays as virus surges," 8 July 2020 This is just one basketball game, so there’s still reason to wonder if $70 is the new standard. Washington Post, "Next-gen games may cost $70. It’s overdue, but also worrisome.," 3 July 2020 New York City, for example, committed to distributing 300,000 laptops to students at the beginning of Covid-19—causing many educators to wonder what took so long. Jenny Anderson, Quartz, "There is an education crisis hiding behind Covid’s health and economic crises," 2 July 2020 That’s led some observers to wonder if the swift, widespread embrace of these reforms in the Bay Area could be a political calculus. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "The future of Bay Area policing is coming into focus as cities and agencies slash budgets and redirect money," 1 July 2020 These factors prompt some within the NFL to wonder if on-site work days will be shortened and if meetings would continue to take place virtually. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "As NFL training camps draw closer, big questions about coronavirus protocols still linger," 1 July 2020 The investigator’s visit had led him to wonder if repackaging masks for sale to unsuspecting customers was not kosher. J. David Mcswane, ProPublica, "He Removed Labels That Said “Medical Use Prohibited,” Then Tried to Sell Thousands of Masks to Officials Who Distribute to Hospitals," 25 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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Learn More about wonder

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

31 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wonder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wonder. Accessed 11 Aug. 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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