The Meaning of Wonder: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of wonder? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word wonder, including its definition, usage, word origin, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word wonder mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language as well as other dictionaries like American Heritage and Collins English Dictionary, the word wonder can be used as a noun of a verb. As a noun, this word refers to a cause of astonishment or admiration, a miracle, the quality of being excited or amazed, or the rapt attention or astonishment at something that is awesomely mysterious or new to one’s experience. It usually has a positive connotation, but can also refer to a feeling of doubt or uncertainty. Wonder is usually seen as a mixture of surprise and maybe horror. 

As a verb, the word wonder can be used as a transitive or intransitive verb. As an intransitive verb, this word means to feel surprise, curiosity or doubt, or to be curious or doubtful about something. Wonder has two syllables – won-der, and the pronunciation of wonder is ˈwʌndə-r. This word can also refer to singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Stevie Wonder, born Stevland Hardaway Judkins American.

There are many different words and terms that are derived from or use the word wonder. These are listed below, from Word Sense.

  •  Wonderdrug/wonder drug (Sulfanilamide, 1939)
  •  90-day wonder
  •  girl wonder
  •  small wonder
  •  nine day wonder
  •  wonderboy
  •  Wonder Woman
  •  wonderbra
  •  wonderworker
  •  wonderment
  •  work wonders
  •  wonderful
  •  wonderberry
  •  wondrous, wonderous
  •  wonderland
  •  no wonder
  •  wonderchild
  •  one hit wonder
  •  little wonder
  •  gutless wonder
  •  bewonder
  •  boy wonder

What are synonyms and antonyms of wonder?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word wonder, for both its noun and verb forms. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself as well as if you are looking to expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word wonder is provided by Thesaurus.

wonder (n.) – something amazing or the quality of amazement

  •  phenomenon
  •  reverence
  •  wonderment
  •  awe
  •  rarity
  •  surprise
  •  perturbation
  •  sight
  •  fear
  •  uncertainty
  •  doubt
  •  marvel
  •  spectacle
  •  marveling
  •  freak
  •  cynosure
  •  stunner
  •  suspicion
  •  incredulity
  •  start
  •  jolt
  •  skepticism
  •  sensation
  •  stupor
  •  wondering
  •  curiosity
  •  astonishment
  •  prodigy
  •  puzzlement
  •  perplexity
  •  act of God
  •  consternation
  •  nonpareil
  •  amazement
  •  portent
  •  stupefaction
  •  fascination
  •  shock
  •  oddity
  •  confusion
  •  jar
  •  admiration
  •  bewilderment
  •  miracle
  •  concern
  •  rara avis

wonder (v.) to ponder or be amazed

  •  be astonished
  •  boggle
  •  conjecture
  •  admire
  •  speculate
  •  gape
  •  be startled
  •  be awestruck
  •  be confounded
  •  look aghast
  •  be curious
  •  meditate
  •  be dumbstruck
  •  think
  •  ask oneself
  •  be fascinated
  •  marvel
  •  gawk
  •  inquire
  •  be taken aback
  •  stare
  •  disbelieve
  •  be flabbergasted
  •  be inquisitive
  •  question
  •  query
  •  puzzle

There are also a number of words that mean the opposite of the word wonder. These opposite words are called antonyms. Antonyms are another easy way to work on expanding your vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word wonder is provided by Thesaurus.

  •  uniformity
  •  unremarkableness
  •  commonness
  •  averageness
  •  mediocrity
  •  standardness
  •  ordinariness
  •  commonality
  •  regularity
  •  normality
  •  commonplaceness

What is the origin of wonder?

According to Etymonline, the noun wonder comes from the Old English wundor, from the Proto-Germanic wundran which is also the source of the Old Saxon wundar, West Frisian wonder, scots wunner, Middle English wonder, Low German wunner, Middle Dutch, Old High German wuntar, Icelandic undur, Dutch wonder, German wunder, and Old Norse undr, as well as a possible Extra-Germanic cognate. This word is of unknown origin. In Middle English, it was used to describe the emotion associated with a sight in late 13c. In Old English, they used the phrase “to be no wonder.” 

The verb wonder comes from the Old English wundrian, which is also from the same source as wonder. This is a cognate with the Dutch wonderen, Old High German wuntaron, and German wundern. One can add the suffixes ful, ing, ment, ed, ous, and ly to create the related words wonderful (adj.), wonderfully (adv.), wonderment (n.), wondered, wondering (v.), wondrous, and more!

How can the word wonder be used in a sentence?

The word wonder can be used in many different ways. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions. You can also try making flashcards and quizzes for yourself to test your knowledge. Try using this word of the day today! Below are several example sentences to get your started!

The child’s eyes widened in wonder at the fireworks. He had never seen such a wondrous thing, like a monster exploding before his eyes. His mother saw the same wondrous cause of surprise when they attended the circus, or when they drove to New York City and saw all of the tall buildings before them. 

Bobby visited all the natural wonders of the world and stared at them with puzzled interest. He couldn’t believe these monuments of the ancient world weren’t created by monumental human creation, but natural genius.

The young man was called the wonder boy of American golf. He hit the ball with such precision and learned in such a short time that it surprised everyone.

The new computer was a wonder – it provided clearer communication, and was invaluable based on today’s valuations in the overall big-cap market. 

Overall, the word wonder means a feeling of great surprise, general surprise, the object of astonishment, a marvelous thing or strange thing, or a feeling of great surprise or true insight. This word of Proto-Indo-European origins can also refer to Stevie Wonder, US motown singer, real name Steveland Judkins Morris born in 1950.


  1. wonder: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. WONDER Synonyms: 94 Synonyms & Antonyms for WONDER | Thesaurus 
  3. NORMALITY Synonyms: 14 Synonyms & Antonyms for NORMALITY | Thesaurus 
  4. wonder | Origin and meaning of wonder | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  5. Wonder | Definition of Wonder | Merriam-Webster 
  6. Wonder | Definition of Wonder | Merriam-Webster