a. The emotion aroused by something awe-inspiring, astounding, or surprising: gazed with wonder at the northern lights.
b. The quality that arouses such emotion: "Her long fair hair was girlish: and girlish, and touched with the wonder of mortal beauty, her face" (James Joyce).
a. One that arouses awe, astonishment, surprise, or admiration; a marvel: Given all his unhealthy habits, it's a wonder he's lived this long. She was a wonder in that movie.
b. often Wonder A monumental human creation regarded with awe, especially one of seven monuments of the ancient world that appeared on various lists of late antiquity.
a. An extraordinary or remarkable act or achievement: That teacher has worked wonders with these students.
b. An event inexplicable by the laws of nature; a miracle.
v. won·dered, won·der·ing, won·ders
1. To have a feeling of awe, astonishment, surprise, or admiration: We wondered at the ease with which she settled into her new job.
2. To be filled with curiosity or doubt: I could only wonder after hearing his excuse. I wondered about his late-night comings and goings.
To feel curiosity or be in doubt about: I wondered what kind of costume she would wear. I wondered why I said that.
Remarkable or extraordinary, especially in being beneficial: considers quinoa a wonder grain.
To have a beneficial effect: This tonic will do wonders for you.
for a wonder
As a cause for surprise; surprisingly.
[Middle English, from Old English wundor.]
Synonyms: wonder, marvel, miracle, phenomenon
These nouns denote one that evokes amazement or admiration: saw the wonders of Paris; a marvel of modern technology; a miracle of culinary art; a phenomenon of medical science.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.