From Middle English wonder, wunder, from Old English wundor (“wonder, miracle, marvel, portent, horror; wondrous thing, monster”), from Proto-Germanic *wundrą (“miracle, wonder”), from Proto-Indo-European *wenh₁- (“to wish for, desire, strive for, win, love”). 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 Old English wundrian, which is from the noun wundor (“wonder, miracle, marvel”), as above.
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.
- Plato, Theætetus (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).
- Bible, Acts iii. 10
- They were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
- 1781, Samuel Johnson, The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets
- All wonder is the effect of novelty upon ignorance.
- (Britain, 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.
Terms derived from wonder (noun)
something that causes amazement or awe, a marvel
- 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 f
- Mandarin: 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
- 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 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 (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 (čúdo)
- Manx: yindys m
- Maori: autaia
- Mirandese: marabilha f
- Bokmål: under (no) n, underverk n, vidunder n
- Nynorsk: under n, underverk n
- Old Church Slavonic: дивъ m (divŭ), чоудо n (čudo)
- 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
- Spanish: maravilla (es) f
- Swahili: maajabu (sw)
- Swedish: under (sv) n, mirakel (sv) n
- Tagalog: paghanga
- Turkish: harika (tr)
- Ukrainian: чудо n (čúdo), диво (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
- Ancient: θαῦμα n (thaûma)
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.
- Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels
- I could not sufficiently wonder at the intrepidity of these diminutive mortals.
- We cease to wonder at what we understand.
1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
- The Celebrity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair on an 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) To ponder; to feel doubt and curiosity; to wait with uncertain expectation; to query in the mind.
I wonder whether penguins can fly.
to be affected with surprise
to ponder about something
From Middle Dutch wonder, wunder, from Old Dutch wundar, from Proto-Germanic *wundrą, from Proto-Indo-European *wen- (“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)