verb (used without object)

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.



    for a wonder, as the reverse of what might be expected; surprisingly: For a wonder, they worked hard all day.

Origin of wonder

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 formswon·der·er, nounwon·der·less, adjective

Synonyms for wonder

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

Examples from the Web for wondered

Contemporary Examples of wondered

Historical Examples of wondered

  • As they walked single-file through the narrowing of a drift, she wondered about him.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Miss Milbrey wondered somewhat; but her mind was easy, for her resolution had been taken.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • And as for Shepler—he wondered if Shepler knew just what risks he might be taking on.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • This reflection we should have wondered at from you once; but now we don't.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Omar Ben Sufi sat down in the middle of the street, and wondered.

    A Night Out

    Edward Peple

British Dictionary definitions for wondered



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, etca wonder drug; a wonder horse
do wonders or 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
no wonder (sentence connector) (I am) not surprised at all (that)no wonder he couldn't come
small wonder (sentence connector) (I am) hardly surprised (that)small wonder he couldn't make it tonight

verb (when tr, 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 Formswonderer, nounwonderless, adjective

Word Origin for wonder

Old English wundor; related to Old Saxon wundar, Old Norse undr, German Wunder



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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 wondered



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

Idioms and Phrases with wondered


In addition to the idiom beginning with wonder

  • wonders will never cease

also see:

  • for a wonder
  • no wonder
  • work wonders
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.