Definition of wand in English:

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Pronunciation: /wɒnd/


1A long, thin stick or rod, in particular:
Example sentences
  • One way to teach the horse how to back up is to use a whip handle (or you can call it a stick or a wand if you like those terms better) to show the horse which foot you want him to move.
  • I would hold a wand, made of the silver stick, silver star, and ribbons and on my feet the pink ballet shoes.
  • During a routine security check at the airport in Kuujjuaraapik, a man became agitated when the wand that is used to check for metal began to beep loudly when security agents waved it near him.
1.1A rod thought to have magic properties, used in casting spells or performing conjuring tricks: the fairy godmother waves her magic wand and grants the heroine’s wishes
More example sentences
  • My neighbor tells me it's the magic of the wand combined with my psychic aura.
  • Like a magician waving his magic wand, McGrath took on the guise of Merlin as he wove his magic, enrapturing his team-mates, opponents and adoring masses.
  • It is like a magic trick, those wands which turn into bouquets.
1.2A staff or rod held as a symbol of office: the beadle rapped noisily with his wand
More example sentences
  • Wizards are always sticking their wands into any sort of magical affair.
1.3 informal A conductor’s baton.
1.4A small stick with a brush at one end used to apply mascara: a mascara wand
More example sentences
  • It comes in a wand like a mascara brush, which you sweep over your brows to give colour to the hairs rather than the skin.
  • Mascara wand in hand, I brushed my lashes with black.
  • When applying mascara, drag the wand outwards to the outer upper corner to open up eyes further.
2A handheld electronic device which can be passed over a barcode to read the encoded data: he waves the computer wand over the special barcode
More example sentences
  • He swipes a bar-code wand across the waybill, a document that shows the contents and destination of the shipment.
  • The person behind the counter, when I was buying the socks, tried to read the barcode with the ‘wand’, and when it couldn't read it, she hit the wand on the counter.
2.1A device emitting a laser beam, used especially to create a pointer on a projected image or text: you pull out a laser wand and point at the screen on the wall
More example sentences
  • Phillips' video montage bombards and caresses the objects with everything from sinuous watery imagery to bouncing polka dots and laser wands that cartwheel and flip with Morse-code rapidity.
  • The open surgical field of vision is being replaced by images seen through a telescopic wand.
  • For this purpose, a small signal-creating source is inserted into the magnetic wand.
2.2Each of a pair of handheld lights used by a person on the ground to guide a taxiing aircraft at night.
Example sentences
  • Raise the hook quickly, add power, and taxi forward following the signals of the deckhand's wand light.
  • Keyan headed for the left side spot, guided by a tech in black coveralls on the ground, waving two light wands.
  • As a result, passengers and crew found orientation difficult, though the provision of snap light wands alleviated this problem to some degree.
3 (wands) One of the suits in some tarot packs, corresponding to batons in others.


Middle English: from Old Norse vǫndr, probably of Germanic origin and related to wend and wind2.

  • A word from Old Norse, and related to wend (Old English) and wind (Old English) ‘to move in a twisting way’—the basic idea seems to be of a supple, flexible stick. Wand did not have any connection with wizards and spells until about 1400, some 200 years after it was first used. Wander (Old English), ‘to move in a leisurely or aimless way’, comes from a similar root.

Words that rhyme with wand

abscond, beau monde, beyond, blonde, bond, correspond, demi-monde, despond, fond, frond, Gironde, haut monde, pond, respond, ronde, second

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: wand

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