verb (used with object), wend·ed or (Archaic) went; wend·ing.

to pursue or direct (one's way).

verb (used without object), wend·ed or (Archaic) went; wend·ing.

to proceed or go.

Origin of wend

before 900; Middle English wenden, Old English wendan; cognate with Dutch, German wenden, Gothic wandjan, causative of -windan to wind2




a member of a Slavic people of E Germany; Sorb.

Origin of Wend

1780–90; < German Wende, Old High German Winida; cognate with Old English Winedas (plural)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for wend

meander, saunter, go, travel, journey, pass, proceed, shift, alter

Examples from the Web for wend

Historical Examples of wend

  • "I could not call the fellow out," says the judge, as they wend their way into King street.

    An Outcast

    F. Colburn Adams

  • If that hand is cold in death, then henceforth I wend my ways alone.

    Eric Brighteyes

    H. Rider Haggard

  • However, he determined to wend his way to the inn and reprove him for his negligence.

  • He therefore shut the valve and began to wend his way back to the ladder.

    Under the Waves

    R M Ballantyne

  • Even a Chaucer (so it is said) could make nothing of us as we wend our way to Brighton.

    Obiter Dicta

    Augustine Birrell

British Dictionary definitions for wend



to direct (one's course or way); travelwend one's way home

Word Origin for wend

Old English wendan; related to Old High German wenten, Gothic wandjan; see wind ²



(esp in medieval European history) a Sorb; a member of the Slavonic people who inhabited the area between the Rivers Saale and Oder in the early Middle Ages and were conquered by Germanic invaders by the 12th centurySee also Lusatia
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 wend

"to proceed on," Old English wendan "to turn, go," from Proto-Germanic *wandijanan (cf. Old Saxon wendian, Old Norse venda, Old Frisian wenda, Dutch wenden, German wenden, Gothic wandjan "to turn"), causative of Old English windan "to turn, twist" (see wind (v.)), from root *wand-, *wend- "turn." Surviving only in to wend one's way, and in hijacked past tense form went.


member of a Slavic people of eastern Germany, 1610s (implied in Wendish), from German Wende, from Old High German Winida, related to Old English Winedas "Wends," ultimately from Celt. *vindo- "white."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper