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


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


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