superb; excellent; great: a marvelous show.
such as to cause wonder, admiration, or astonishment; surprising; extraordinary.
improbable or incredible: the marvelous events of Greek myth.

Also especially British, mar·vel·lous.

Origin of marvelous

1300–50; Middle English merve(il)lous < Middle French merveilleus. See marvel, -ous
Related formsmar·vel·ous·ly, adverbmar·vel·lous·ness, nounsu·per·mar·vel·ous, adjectivesu·per·mar·vel·ous·ly, adverbsu·per·mar·vel·ous·ness, nounun·mar·vel·lous, adjectiveun·mar·vel·lous·ly, adverbun·mar·vel·lous·ness, nounun·mar·vel·ous, adjectiveun·mar·vel·ous·ly, adverbun·mar·vel·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for marvelous

Antonyms for marvelous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for marvellous

Contemporary Examples of marvellous

Historical Examples of marvellous

  • "Marvellous, indeed, is the mystery of our being," exclaimed Anaxagoras.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • One of the marvellous things about the child was his utter lack of favouritism.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • By what marvellous agency did the river force its way between?

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • For a few moments I could revel in the marvellous spectacle before me.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • And which was to work a marvellous effect on the intestines.

British Dictionary definitions for marvellous


US marvelous


causing great wonder, surprise, etc; extraordinary
improbable or incredible
excellent; splendid
Derived Formsmarvellously or US marvelously, adverbmarvellousness or US marvelousness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for marvellous

see marvelous.



c.1300, "causing wonder," from Old French merveillos "marvelous, wonderful" (Modern French merveilleux), from merveille (see marvel (n.)). Weakened sense of "splendid, very nice" is from 1924. Related: Marvelously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper