[ mahr-vuh-luhs ]
/ ˈmɑr və ləs /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: marvelous / marvelously on Thesaurus.com

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.
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.
Also especially British, mar·vel·lous .

Origin of marvelous

1300–50; Middle English merve(il)lous<Middle French merveilleus.See marvel, -ous


Words nearby marvelous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does marvelous mean?

Marvelous means wonderful, extraordinary, fabulous, superb, excellent. In this sense, it is often used to praise things like works of art and artistic performances.

Marvelous is the adjective form of the noun marvel, which most commonly means a thing that causes wonder. Marvelous can mean causing wonder, as well as improbable, but both of these senses are much less common than its primary meaning of “wonderful.”

In British English, it is commonly spelled marvellous.

Example: That was absolutely marvelous! What a wonderful show! Bravo!

Where does marvelous come from?

The first records of marvelous come from the 1300s. It comes from the Middle French merveilleus. Marvel derives from Latin mīrābilis, from mīrārī, “to marvel or wonder at.” The suffix -ous is used to form adjectives and means “possessing” or “full of.” So something that’s marvelous is full of marvels or wonders.

It’s no surprise, then, that the closest synonym of marvelous is wonderful. But marvelous is less commonly used and often has an extra sense of class and elegance to it. Picture a fancy-dress ball: a guest could praise the host by saying “great party,” but it would be much classier to say, “What a marvelous gala!”

You call things marvelous when they’re excellent and impressive. Most of the time, this ends up being grand artistic things, like the performance of an opera singer, an award-winning film, or an exquisite dish at a fine-dining restaurant. It’s often further emphasized, such as in phrases like simply marvelous and absolutely marvelous.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to marvelous?

  • marvellous (British English spelling)
  • marvel (noun, verb)
  • marvelously (adverb)
  • marvellousness (noun)

What are some synonyms for marvelous?

What are some words that share a root or word element with marvelous



What are some words that often get used in discussing marvelous?


How is marvelous used in real life?

Marvelous means about the same thing as wonderful, but it’s less commonly used. When it is, it’s often applied to things like performances and works of art.



Try using marvelous!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of marvelous?

A. wonderful
B. incredible
C. mediocre
D. phenomenal

How to use marvelous in a sentence