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[wuhn-der-ing] /ˈwʌn dər ɪŋ/
expressing admiration or amazement; marveling.
Origin of wondering
1585-95; wonder + -ing2
Related forms
wonderingly, adverb
unwondering, adjective


[wuhn-der] /ˈwʌn dər/
verb (used without object)
to think or speculate curiously:
to wonder about the origin of the solar system.
to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe; marvel (often followed by at):
He wondered at her composure in such a crisis.
to doubt:
I wonder if she'll really get here.
verb (used with object)
to speculate curiously or be curious about; be curious to know:
to wonder what happened.
to feel wonder at:
I wonder that you went.
something strange and surprising; a cause of surprise, astonishment, or admiration:
That building is a wonder. It is a wonder he declined such an offer.
the emotion excited by what is strange and surprising; a feeling of surprised or puzzled interest, sometimes tinged with admiration:
He felt wonder at seeing the Grand Canyon.
miraculous deed or event; remarkable phenomenon.
for a wonder, as the reverse of what might be expected; surprisingly:
For a wonder, they worked hard all day.
before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English wundor; cognate with Dutch wonder, German Wunder, Old Norse undr; (v.) Middle English wonderen, Old English wundrian, derivative of the noun
Related forms
wonderer, noun
wonderless, adjective
1. conjecture, meditate, ponder, question. 5. marvel. 7. surprise, astonishment, amazement, bewilderment, awe. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for wondering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I don't know," I left Anthony to answer; wondering what he would say.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • So he induced these men to talk to him and listened, wondering at the deeps he touched.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • She was no more than wondering gently if there were any attractions at all about the life.

  • "I am no lawyer, not even a sea-lawyer," I answered, wondering what he was driving at.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • God bless me, said she, with wondering eyes, more policemen!

British Dictionary definitions for wondering


the feeling excited by something strange; a mixture of surprise, curiosity, and sometimes awe
something that causes such a feeling, such as a miracle
(modifier) exciting wonder by virtue of spectacular results achieved, feats performed, etc: a wonder drug, a wonder horse
do wonders, work wonders, to achieve spectacularly fine results
for a wonder, surprisingly or amazingly
nine days' wonder, a subject that arouses general surprise or public interest for a short time
(sentence connector) no wonder, (I am) not surprised at all (that): no wonder he couldn't come
(sentence connector) small wonder, (I am) hardly surprised (that): small wonder he couldn't make it tonight
verb (when transitive, may take a clause as object)
when intr, often foll by about. to indulge in speculative inquiry, often accompanied by an element of doubt (concerning something): I wondered about what she said, I wonder what happened
when intr, often foll by at. to be amazed (at something): I wonder at your impudence
Derived Forms
wonderer, noun
wonderless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English wundor; related to Old Saxon wundar, Old Norse undr, German Wunder


Stevie. real name Steveland Judkins Morris. born 1950, US Motown singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. His recordings include Up-Tight (1966), "Superstition" (1972), Innervisions (1973), Songs in the Key of Life (1976), and "I Just Called to Say I Love You" (1985)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for wondering



Old English wundor "marvelous thing, marvel, the object of astonishment," from Proto-Germanic *wundran (cf. Old Saxon wundar, Middle Dutch, Dutch wonder, Old High German wuntar, German wunder, Old Norse undr), of unknown origin. In Middle English it also came to mean the emotion associated with such a sight (late 13c.). The verb is from Old English wundrian. Used colloquially in Pennsylvania German areas in some transitive senses (It wonders me that ... for "I wonder why ..."); this was common in Middle English and as late as Tindale (1533), and a correspondent reports the usage also yet survives in Yorkshire/Lincolnshire. Related: Wondered, wondering, wonders.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for wondering


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for wondering


Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with wondering


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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