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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English wonderful, wondirful, from Old English wundorful (wonderful), from Proto-West Germanic *wundrafull, equivalent to wonder +‎ -ful. Cognate Dutch wondervol (wonderful), German wundervoll (wonderful).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈwʌn.də.fl/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈwʌn.dɚ.fl̩/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: blunderful


wonderful (comparative wonderfuller or wonderfuler or more wonderful, superlative wonderfullest or wonderfulest or most wonderful)

  1. Tending to excite wonder; surprising, extraordinary.
    • 1863, Sheridan Le Fanu, The House by the Churchyard:
      'Ha!' cried Dangerfield, with a sort of gasp, and a violent smirk, the joyousness of which was, however, counteracted by a lurid scowl and a wonderful livid glare in his wild eyes; []
    • 1992, Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety, Harper Perennial 2007, p. 278:
      He is massively corrupt. It is wonderful how the man's popularity survives.
  2. Surprisingly excellent; very good or admirable, extremely impressive.
    They served a wonderful six-course meal.
    • 2012 April 29, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Treehouse of Horror III” (season 4, episode 5; originally aired 10/29/1992)”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[1]:
      Though they obviously realized that these episodes were part of something wonderful and important and lasting, the writers and producers couldn’t have imagined that 20 years later “Treehouse Of Horror” wouldn’t just survive; it’d thrive as one of the most talked-about and watched episodes of every season of The Simpsons.





wonderful (not comparable)

  1. (dialect) Exceedingly, to a great extent.
    • 1861, George Eliot, Silas Marner, London: Penguin Books, published 1967, page 153:
      Miss Nancy's wonderful like what her mother was, though; isn't she, Kimble?

Related terms[edit]