From Middle English wonder, wunder, from Old English wundor (“wonder, miracle, marvel”), from Proto-Germanic *wundrą. Cognate with Scots wunner (“wonder”), West Frisian wonder, wûnder (“wonder, miracle”), Dutch wonder (“miracle, wonder”), Low German wunner, wunder (“wonder”), German Wunder (“miracle, wonder”), Danish, Norwegian and Swedish under (“wonder, miracle”), Icelandic undur (“wonder”).
The verb is from Middle English wondren, from Old English wundrian, which is from Proto-Germanic *wundrōną. Cognate with Saterland Frisian wunnerje, West Frisian wûnderje, Dutch wonderen, German Low German wunnern, German wundern, Swedish undra, Icelandic undra.
wonder (countable and uncountable, plural wonders)
- Something that causes amazement or awe; a marvel.
Wonders of the World seem to come in sevens.
1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 8, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
That concertina was a wonder in its way. The handles that was on it first was wore out long ago, and he'd made new ones of braided rope yarn. And the bellows was patched in more places than a cranberry picker's overalls.
- Something astonishing and seemingly inexplicable.
The idea was so crazy that it is a wonder that anyone went along with it.
- Someone very talented at something, a genius.
He's a wonder at cooking.
- The sense or emotion which can be inspired by something curious or unknown; surprise; astonishment, often with awe or reverence.
- 1781, Samuel Johnson, The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets
- All wonder is the effect of novelty upon ignorance.
- 1871, Plato, Benjamin Jowett (translator), Theaetetus (section 155d)
- Socrates: I see, my dear Theaetetus, that Theodorus had a true insight into your nature when he said that you were a philosopher, for wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder. He was not a bad genealogist who said that Iris (the messenger of heaven) is the child of Thaumas (wonder).
- (UK, informal) A mental pondering, a thought.
1934, Katharine Tynan, The house of dreams:
Miss Paynter had a little wonder as to whether the man, as she called Mr. Lacy in her own mind, had ever been admitted to this room. She thought not.
- (US) A kind of donut; a cruller.
something that causes amazement or awe, a marvel
- Albanian: thagmë (sq) f
- Arabic: عَجَب m (ʿajab)
- Armenian: հրաշք (hy) (hraškʿ)
- Azerbaijani: təəccüb (az)
- Belarusian: цуд m (cud), дзі́ва n (dzíva)
- Bulgarian: чу́до (bg) n (čúdo)
- Catalan: meravella (ca) f
- Mandarin: 奇妙的事物, 奇跡 (zh), 奇迹 (zh) (qíjī)
- Czech: div (cs) m, zázrak (cs) m
- Danish: vidunder n, under (da) n, mirakel n
- Dutch: wonder (nl) n
- Dyirbal: (Jirribal) mali?
- Esperanto: mirindaĵo
- Estonian: ime (et)
- Faroese: undur n
- Finnish: ihme (fi)
- French: merveille (fr) f
- German: Wunder (de) n, Mirakel (de) n
- Gothic: 𐍆𐌰𐌿𐍂𐌰𐍄𐌰𐌽𐌹 n (fauratani), 𐍃𐌹𐌻𐌳𐌰𐌻𐌴𐌹𐌺 n (sildaleik), 𐍄𐌰𐌹𐌺𐌽𐍃 (taikns)
- Greek: θαύμα (el) n (thávma)
- Ancient: θαῦμα n (thaûma)
- Hawaiian: kāhāhā
- Hebrew: פֶּלֶא (he) m (pele)
- Hindi: आश्चर्य (hi) (āścarya)
- Hungarian: csoda (hu)
- Icelandic: undur (is) n
- Irish: ionadh m, iontas m
- Italian: meraviglia (it) f
- Japanese: 驚嘆 (ja) (きょうたん, kyōtan), 驚異 (ja) (きょうい, kyōi)
- Khmer: អច្ឆរិយវត្ថុ (accʰa’re’ya’ voattʰo’)
- Korean: 놀라움 (ko) (nollaum), 경이 (ko) (gyeong'i)
- Latin: miraculum n, mirabilis
- Lithuanian: stebuklas (lt) m
- Low German:
- German Low German: Wunner n, Mirakel n
- Macedonian: чудо n (čudo)
- Malayalam: വിസ്മയം (ml) (vismayaṃ), അത്ഭുതം (ml) (atbhutaṃ)
- Manx: yindys m
- Maori: autaia
- Mirandese: marabilha f
- Northern Sami: imaš
- Bokmål: under (no) n, underverk n, vidunder n
- Nynorsk: under n, underverk n
- Occitan: meravilha (oc) f
- Old Church Slavonic: дивъ m (divŭ), чоудо n (čudo)
- Old English: wundor n
- Persian: شگفتی (fa) (šegefti)
- Polish: cud (pl) m, dziw (pl) m
- Portuguese: maravilha (pt) f
- Romanian: minune (ro), mirare (ro) f
- Russian: чу́до (ru) n (čúdo), ди́во (ru) n (dívo)
- Scottish Gaelic: mìorbhail f
- Cyrillic: чудо n
- Roman: čudo (sh) n
- Slovak: div (sk) m, zázrak m
- Slovene: čudež (sl) m
- Somali: yaab
- Spanish: maravilla (es) f
- Swahili: maajabu (sw)
- Swedish: under (sv) n, mirakel (sv) n
- Tagalog: paghanga
- Tatar: могҗиза (tt) (moğciza)
- Turkish: harika (tr)
- Ukrainian: чу́до n (čúdo), ди́во (uk) n (dývo)
- Venetian: maraveja f
- West Frisian: wûnder n
something astonishing and seemingly inexplicable
someone very talented at something, a genius
sense of awe or astonishment
wonder (third-person singular simple present wonders, present participle wondering, simple past and past participle wondered)
- (intransitive) To be affected with surprise or admiration; to be struck with astonishment; to be amazed; to marvel; often followed by at.
1726 October 28, [Jonathan Swift], “The Author Gives Some Account of Himself and Family, His First Inducements to Travel. […]”, in Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. […] [Gulliver’s Travels], volume I, London: […] Benj[amin] Motte, […], OCLC 995220039, part I (A Voyage to Lilliput), pages 14–15:
[…] I could not ſufficiently wonder at the Intrepidity of theſe diminutive Mortals, […]
1751 October 19, Samuel Johnson, “No. 163. Tuesday, October 8. 1751 [Julian calendar].”, in The Rambler, volume VII, Edinburgh: […] Sands, Murray, and Cochran; sold by W. Gordon, C. Wright, J. Yair, […], published 1752, OCLC 702676921, page 35:
Some had read the manuſcript, and rectified its inaccuracies; others had ſeen it in a ſtate ſo imperfect, that they could not forbear to wonder at its preſent excellence; […]
1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter IV, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698, page 58:
The Celebrity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair on a certain afternoon when Mr. Cooke was trying a trotter on the track. The three returned wondering and charmed with Mrs. Cooke; they were sure she had had no hand in the furnishing of that atrocious house.
- (transitive, intransitive) To ponder; to feel doubt and curiosity; to query in the mind.
He wondered whether penguins could fly. She had wondered this herself sometimes.
c. 1603–1604 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene iii], page 323, column 1:
I wonder in my Soule / What you would aske me, that I ſhould deny […]
to be affected with surprise
to ponder about something
- Arabic: تَسَاءَلَ (tasāʾala) (to ask oneself)
- Belarusian: здзіўля́цца impf (zdziŭljácca), ціка́віцца impf (cikávicca) (be interested to know)
- Bulgarian: пи́там се (pítam se), чудя се (čudja se)
- Catalan: preguntar-se
- Chickasaw: anhit ishtanokfilli
- Mandarin: 想知道 (xiǎng zhīdào)
- Czech: podivovat se, uvažovat (cs)
- Danish: undre, spørge sig
- Dutch: zich afvragen
- Finnish: ihmetellä (fi), miettiä (fi), pohtia (fi), tuumia (fi), tuumailla (fi), aprikoida (fi)
- French: se demander (fr)
- German: sich fragen
- Greek: αναρωτιέμαι (el) (anarotiémai), απορώ (el) (aporó)
- Hebrew: תהה (tahá)
- Hungarian: tűnődik (hu), eltűnődik (hu), mereng (hu), elmereng (hu), (curious) kíváncsi (hu), (I wonder) vajon (hu)
- Italian: domandarsi (it), chiedersi (it)
- Korean: 의심하다 (ko) (uisimhada), 궁금하다 (ko) (gunggeumhada)
- Latin: dubito (la)
- Low German:
- German Low German: sik wunnern, sik verwunnern, wunnerwarken, baff wesen
- Macedonian: се пра́шува (se prášuva)
- Maori: mīharo, whakamīharo
- Northern Sami: imaštit, imaštallat
- Norwegian: undres
- Old English: wundrian
- Polish: zastanawiać się (pl) impf
- Portuguese: ponderar (pt), perguntar-se
- Romanian: mira (ro)
- Russian: удивля́ться (ru) impf (udivljátʹsja), интересова́ться (ru) impf (interesovátʹsja) (be interested to know), спра́шивать себя́ (ru) impf (sprášivatʹ sebjá) (ask oneself)
- Serbo-Croatian: pitati se (sh), čuditi se (sh)
- Slovene: tuhtati
- Spanish: preguntarse (es), ponderar (es)
- Swahili: maajabu (sw)
- Swedish: undra (sv), fråga sig
- Turkish: merak etmek (tr), kızıksınmak
- Ukrainian: дивува́тися impf (dyvuvátysja), ціка́витися (uk) impf (cikávytysja) (be interested to know)
- Venetian: dimandarse
From Middle Dutch wonder, wunder, from Old Dutch wundar, from Proto-Germanic *wundrą, from Proto-Indo-European *wenh₁- (“to wish for, desire, strive for, win, love”). Compare Low German wunder, wunner, German Wunder, West Frisian wonder, wûnder, English wonder, Danish under.
wonder n (plural wonderen, diminutive wondertje n)
- wonder, miracle