From Middle English wonder, wunder, from Old English wundor (“wonder, miracle, marvel”), from Proto-Germanic *wundrą. Cognate with Scots wunner (“wonder”), West Frisian wonder, wûnder (“wonder, miracle”), Dutch wonder (“miracle, wonder”), Low German wunner, wunder (“wonder”), German Wunder (“miracle, wonder”), Danish, Norwegian and Swedish under (“wonder, miracle”), Icelandic undur (“wonder”).
The verb is from Middle English wondren, from Old English wundrian, which is from Proto-Germanic *wundrōną. Cognate with Saterland Frisian wunnerje, West Frisian wûnderje, Dutch wonderen, German Low German wunnern, German wundern, Swedish undra, Icelandic undra.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈwʌndə/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈwʌndɚ/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ʌndə(ɹ)
- Hyphenation: won‧der
- Something that causes amazement or awe; a marvel.
- Wonders of the World seem to come in sevens.
- Something astonishing and seemingly inexplicable.
- The idea was so crazy that it is a wonder that anyone went along with it.
- Someone very talented at something, a genius.
- He's a wonder at cooking.
- The sense or emotion which can be inspired by something curious or unknown; surprise; astonishment, often with awe or reverence.
- 1781, Samuel Johnson, The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets
- All wonder is the effect of novelty upon ignorance.
- 1871, Plato, Benjamin Jowett (translator), Theaetetus (section 155d)
- Socrates: I see, my dear Theaetetus, that Theodorus had a true insight into your nature when he said that you were a philosopher, for wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder. He was not a bad genealogist who said that Iris (the messenger of heaven) is the child of Thaumas (wonder).
- (Britain, informal) A mental pondering, a thought.
- 1934, Katharine Tynan, The house of dreams:
- Miss Paynter had a little wonder as to whether the man, as she called Mr. Lacy in her own mind, had ever been admitted to this room. She thought not.
- (US) A kind of donut; a cruller.
- boy wonder
- girl wonder
- gutless wonder
- little wonder
- nine day wonder
- no wonder
- one hit wonder
- 90-day wonder
- small wonder
- Wonder Woman
- wondrous, wonderous
- work wonders
- (intransitive) To be affected with surprise or admiration; to be struck with astonishment; to be amazed; to marvel; often followed by at.
- 1726 October 28, [Jonathan Swift], “The Author Gives Some Account of Himself and Family, His First Inducements to Travel. […]”, in Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. […] [Gulliver’s Travels], volume I, London: […] Benj[amin] Motte, […], OCLC 995220039, part I (A Voyage to Lilliput), pages 14–15:
- […] I could not ſufficiently wonder at the Intrepidity of theſe diminutive Mortals, […]
- October 8, 1751, Samuel Johnson, The Rambler No. 163
- Some had read the manuscript, and rectified its inaccuracies; others had seen it in a state so imperfect, that the could not forbear to wonder at its present excellence.
- 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter IV, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698, page 58:
- The Celebrity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair on a certain afternoon when Mr. Cooke was trying a trotter on the track. The three returned wondering and charmed with Mrs. Cooke; they were sure she had had no hand in the furnishing of that atrocious house.
- (transitive, intransitive) To ponder; to feel doubt and curiosity; to query in the mind.
- He wondered whether penguins could fly. She had wondered this herself sometimes.
- c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene iii], page 323, column 1:
- I wonder in my Soule / What you would aske me, that I ſhould deny […]
From Middle Dutch wonder, wunder, from Old Dutch wundar, from Proto-Germanic *wundrą, from Proto-Indo-European *wenh₁- (“to wish for, desire, strive for, win, love”). Compare Low German wunder, wunner, German Wunder, West Frisian wonder, wûnder, English wonder, Danish under.