Definition of wonder in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈwʌndə/


1 [mass noun] A feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful, remarkable, or unfamiliar: he observed the intricacy of the ironwork with the wonder of a child
More example sentences
  • She remembered his other expressions, wonder, joy, amazement; all positive feelings.
  • But that fear was drowned out by the overwhelming emotions that filled her: awe and wonder, expectation and joy.
  • For most of us this remarkable series of volumes will be a constant source of wonder, amazement, and re-thinking.
1.1 [count noun] A thing or a quality of something that causes wonder: have you ever explored the wonders of a coral reef? [mass noun]: Athens was a place of wonder and beauty
More example sentences
  • Explore the wonders of coral reefs, mangrove communities, and seagrass beds while identifying the marine organisms that live there.
  • Divers can explore the underwater wonders of Eastern Indonesia on seven to eight days cruises to the islands of Komodo, Alor, Flores, Sumbawa and Lombok.
  • And new galleries exploring the wonders of astronomy and the study of time and an improved astronomy education centre will be opened in the South Building along with a shop and cafe.
marvel, miracle, phenomenon, wonderful thing, sensation, sight, spectacle, beauty;
curiosity, rarity, nonpareil
2A person or thing regarded as very good, remarkable, or effective: we all eat cakes from Gisella—she’s a wonder derogatory you’re all a bunch of gutless wonders!
More example sentences
  • This is a magical world brimming with wonders, diverse and remarkable.
  • It's no wonder that across the country they increasingly regard their elected representatives as gutless wonders.
  • It has been less than a week since the gutless wonder conceded the election way too soon.
2.1 [as modifier] Having remarkable properties or abilities: a wonder drug
More example sentences
  • If they fail, the properties of this wonder oil may be known all over the world, but there will be no trees left to supply the market.
  • Now the race is on to create and test synthetic forms - and it is not the only wonder drug on the horizon.
  • It is the latest health benefit to be associated with the wonder drug.
3 [in singular] A surprising event or situation: it is a wonder that losses are not much greater
More example sentences
  • It was a wonder Sorsha did not strangle them in her frenzy of relief and gratitude.
  • It's a wonder I wasn't strangled before opening night, but at that age, precocious is cute.
  • With his words fresh in my mind from the night before, it was hardly surprising; it was more a wonder that it had taken him so long.


[no object]
1Desire to know something; feel curious: how many times have I written that, I wonder? [with clause]: I can’t help wondering how Georgina’s feeling
More example sentences
  • Those of us who live in the provinces wonder at the obsessive efforts of some Tory politicians to ingratiate themselves with that lobby.
  • Children wonder at the crossings as the light-blinking boom-gates close for the pistons.
  • He would wonder at the human body's capacity to do all that and more!
puzzle about, be curious about, be inquisitive about
informal cudgel one's brains about
1.1 [with clause] Used to express a polite question or request: I wonder whether you have thought more about it?
More example sentences
  • I've been considering my last question, and I wondered whether the church in the photograph is in Venice?
  • But from your question I wonder whether you are not inviting people to make this false choice, between New York or Paris?
  • I was wondering whether non-golden bangles and necklaces are forbidden for males.
2Feel doubt: even hereditary peers are inclined to wonder about the legitimacy of the place
More example sentences
  • They go on to wonder about the logic of Minister McDowell s actions given his stated aim of curbing excessive drinking.
  • However, when you start to nitpick at really silly things, then I cannot help but to wonder about motive.
  • It is true we are in an uncertain period but I wonder about the collective ‘mental state’ at the moment.
3Feel admiration and amazement; marvel: people stood by and wondered at such bravery (as adjective wondering) a wondering look on her face
More example sentences
  • He followed her brisk stride, through the hallways and into her office, all the while wondering at the marvel that was Katherine Wood.
  • Talking to them, we wondered at the freedom they had enjoyed from an early age.
  • She wondered at the invisibility that her clothing offered her.
marvel, be amazed, be filled with amazement, be filled with admiration, be astonished, be surprised, be awed, stand in awe, be full of wonder, be lost for words, not believe one's eyes/ears, not know what to say, be dumbfounded, gape, goggle, gawk
informal be flabbergasted, boggle
3.1Feel surprise: if I feel compassion for her, it is not to be wondered at
More example sentences
  • Now I'm wondering if Sergei was surprised to see it, in ‘real life’ etc.
  • I was surprised, wondering if there was anything wrong with me.
  • But, because of my past, I think it took a lot of people by surprise. They wondered what was happening to me.
be surprised, express surprise, find it surprising, be astonished/amazed



I shouldn't wonder

informal I think it likely: more than once, I shouldn’t wonder
More example sentences
  • Just sign up as a professional after-dinner speaker and people will listen in wonderment to how you almost made a success out of such a damned silly idea - seven and half thousand pounds a time I shouldn't wonder, and maybe more.
  • Probably East German or Slavic, I shouldn't wonder.
  • Jon was more than happy with losing the match to get us out of there, so we left - or rather the group left, dragging me with it - muttering to myself, I shouldn't wonder.

no (or little or small) wonder

It is not surprising: no wonder the waiters looked tired
More example sentences
  • No wonder tots are frustrated, no wonder they lie on the floor kicking and hollering.
  • With comments like that, it is little wonder that the market was surprised by the sellout move.
  • It's no wonder that it is thought of as a dirty and degrading profession.

nine days' (or seven-day or one-day) wonder

Something that attracts great interest for a short while but is then forgotten.
Example sentences
  • Was it just a nine days' wonder that faded as fast as it arrived?
  • Animal Rights groups here are voluntary and struggle to campaign whilst faced with an apathetic response once the initial seven-day wonder period of a highlighted abuse passes.
  • I don't normally keep a diary, so I will retrospectively reconstruct the main events and impressions of a seven-day wonder that had no precedent.

wonders will never cease

Used, often ironically, as an exclamation of great surprise at something pleasing.
Example sentences
  • And it is still going - wonders will never cease.
  • Having a laugh with the old pair, wonders will never cease, before returning to watch Andy Garcia passing judgement on the TV screen, glass of wine to hand.
  • A teenager who doesn't seize the opportunity to lounge about the house, wonders will never cease.

work (or do) wonders

Have a very beneficial effect on someone or something: a good night’s sleep can work wonders for mind and body
More example sentences
  • The addition of surround effects does wonders for the audio space.
  • With time running out, Reed brought Iain Dunn, Matty Albery and Paul Stansfield off the bench and the move worked wonders.
  • Gunnado Farm near Walkaway has not only wonderful views but it does wonders to help young people find their way.



Example sentences
  • How inspiring things were in the slower days, when wonderment was a common pastime as I recall, wisdom-seeds falling on the wonderer's mind from every direction for careful germination.
  • A small group of wonderers stood in the middle of the street, talking silently amongst themselves.
  • Wondering becomes wandering in this poem, Olds inseparable from her mother, Olds the wonderer, the mother the wanderer-all of it within tight halls and rooms or within the closeting of the poem itself.


Pronunciation: /ˈwʌndərɪŋli/
Example sentences
  • ‘We've only been a band for, like, seven or eight years,’ he says wonderingly.
  • For my part I'd had some idea that bingo was somehow down to skill and, finding I was wrong, repeated wonderingly, after every game, ‘It's just pure luck!’
  • ‘He got back to the village that evening, gave his message, had four hours rest, and then ran straight back to us through the night,’ says Dr Patterson, wonderingly.


Old English wundor (noun), wundrian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wonder and German Wunder, of unknown ultimate origin.

Words that rhyme with wonder

asunder, blunder, chunder, hereunder, plunder, rotunda, sunder, thereunder, thunder, under, up-and-under

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: won¦der

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