See also: Wander



From Middle English wandren, wandrien, from Old English wandrian (to wander, roam, fly around, hover; change; stray, err), from Proto-Germanic *wandrōną (to wander), from Proto-Indo-European *wendʰ- (to turn, wind), equivalent to wend + -er. Cognate with Scots wander (to wander), German wandern (to wander, roam, hike, migrate), Swedish vandra (to wander, hike).



wander (third-person singular simple present wanders, present participle wandering, simple past and past participle wandered)

  1. (intransitive) To move without purpose or specified destination; often in search of livelihood.
    to wander over the fields
    • They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter IX, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
      “A tight little craft,” was Austin’s invariable comment on the matron; []. ¶ Near her wandered her husband, orientally bland, invariably affable, and from time to time squinting sideways, as usual, in the ever-renewed expectation that he might catch a glimpse of his stiff, retroussé moustache.
    • 1915, G[eorge] A. Birmingham [pseudonym; James Owen Hannay], chapter I, in Gossamer, New York, N.Y.: George H. Doran Company, OCLC 5661828:
      There is an hour or two, after the passengers have embarked, which is disquieting and fussy. [] Stewards, carrying cabin trunks, swarm in the corridors. Passengers wander restlessly about or hurry, with futile energy, from place to place.
    Synonyms: err, roam
  2. (intransitive) To stray; stray from one's course; err.
    A writer wanders from his subject.
  3. (intransitive) To commit adultery.
    Synonym: cheat
  4. (intransitive) To go somewhere indirectly or at varying speeds; to move in a curved path.
  5. (intransitive) Of the mind, to lose focus or clarity of argument or attention.
    Synonym: drift


Derived termsEdit


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wander (countable and uncountable, plural wanders)

  1. (countable) An act or instance of wandering.
    to go for a wander in the park
  2. (uncountable) The situation where a value or signal etc. deviates from the correct or normal value.
    Hyponym: polar wander
    baseline wander in ECG signals







  1. inflection of wandern:
    1. first-person singular present
    2. singular imperative