From earlier maund (“to beg”).
- To speak in a disorganized or desultory manner; to babble or prattle.
- Sir Walter Scott
- He was ever maundering by the how that he met a party of scarlet devils.
- 1834, Maria Edgeworth, Helen, v. 3, ch. V:
- "Not so fast, Lady Cecilia; not yet;" and now Louisa went on with a medical maundering. "As to low spirits, my dear Cecilia, I must say I agree with Sir Sib Pennyfeather, who tells me it is not mere common low spirits […] "
- 1871, Henry James, A Passionate Pilgrim, ch. IV:
- On the following day my friend's exhaustion had become so great that I began to fear his intelligence altogether broken up. But toward evening he briefly rallied, to maunder about many things, confounding in a sinister jumble the memories of the past weeks and those of bygone years.
- 1889, Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, ch. XVII:
- "What are you maundering about? He's going out from here a free man and whole—he's not going to die."
2014 November 14, Blake Bailey, “'Tennessee Williams,' by John Lahr [print version: Theatrical victory of art over life, International New York Times, 18 November 2014, p. 13]”, in The New York Times:
- Whether Edwina [mother of Tennessee Williams] had sufficient self-awareness to recognize her own maundering about (say) "seventeen! – gentleman callers!" is doubtful, but she was indeed Amanda [Wingfield, character in Williams' play The Glass Menagerie] in the flesh: a doughty chatterbox from Ohio who adopted the manner of a Southern belle and eschewed both drink and sex to the greatest extent possible.
- Sir Walter Scott
- To wander or walk aimlessly.
- 1827, Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language:
- 2. To wander about in a thoughtful manner; to talk confusedly; [perhaps from the Gael. mandagh, a stutterer.] A northern word. It is written both maunder and mander.
maunder (plural maunders)
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for maunder in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)