[ wil-der ]
/ ˈwɪl dər /

verb (used with object)

to cause to lose one's way.
to bewilder.

verb (used without object)

to lose one's way.
to be bewildered.

Nearby words

  1. wilbur, richard,
  2. wilburite,
  3. wilco,
  4. wilcox,
  5. wilcoxon test,
  6. wild about, be,
  7. wild apricot,
  8. wild bean,
  9. wild bergamot,
  10. wild bleeding-heart

Origin of wilder

1605–15; perhaps extracted from wilderness; intransitive use probably by association with wander

Related formswil·der·ment, noun


[ wahyl-der ]
/ ˈwaɪl dər /


comparative of wild.


[ wahyl-der ]
/ ˈwaɪl dər /


BillySamuel Wilder, 1906–2002, U.S. film director, producer, and writer; born in Austria.
Laura In·galls [ing-guh lz] /ˈɪŋ gəlz/, 1867–1957, U.S. writer of children's books.
Thorn·ton (Niv·en) [thawrn-tn niv-uh n] /ˈθɔrn tn ˈnɪv ən/, 1897–1975, U.S. novelist and playwright.

Origin of wild

before 900; Middle English, Old English wilde; cognate with Dutch, German wild, Old Norse villr, Swedish vild, Gothic wiltheis

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wilder

British Dictionary definitions for wilder


/ (ˈwɪldə) /

verb archaic

to lead or be led astray
to bewilder or become bewildered
Derived Formswilderment, noun

Word Origin for wilder

C17: of uncertain origin


/ (ˈwaɪldə) /


Billy, real name Samuel Wilder. 1906–2002, US film director and screenwriter, born in Austria. His films include Double Indemnity (1944), The Lost Weekend (1945), Sunset Boulevard (1950), The Seven Year Itch (1955), Some Like it Hot (1959), The Apartment (1960), and Buddy Buddy (1981)
Thornton. 1897–1975 US novelist and dramatist. His works include the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927) and the play The Skin of Our Teeth (1942)


/ (waɪld) /


Jonathan. ?1682–1725, British criminal, who organized a network of thieves, highwaymen, etc, while also working as an informer: said to have sent over a hundred men to the gallows before being hanged himself


/ (waɪld) /



in a wild manner
run wild
  1. to grow without cultivation or care
  2. to behave without restraint


(often plural) a desolate, uncultivated, or uninhabited region
the wild
  1. a free natural state of living
  2. the wilderness
Derived Formswildish, adjectivewildly, adverbwildness, noun

Word Origin for wild

Old English wilde; related to Old Saxon, Old High German wildi, Old Norse villr, Gothic wiltheis

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 wilder
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with wilder


In addition to the idioms beginning with wild

  • wild about, be
  • wild card
  • wild goose chase
  • wild horses couldn't drag me
  • wild oats
  • wild pitch

also see:

  • go hog wild
  • go wilding
  • run amok (wild)
  • sow one's wild oats
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.