Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

Wonder or Wander?

The Quick Answer
What is the difference between wonder and wander?

Wonder is a feeling of amazement and admiration. As a verb, to wonder means to want to know something. For example:
  • It's a wonder you passed the exam.
  • I wonder how old she is.
A wander is an aimless walk. As a verb, to wander means to walk or move in a leisurely or aimless way. For example:
  • I think I'll go for a wander.
  • We found grandma wandering in the park.

Wonder and Wander

The words wonder and wander sound similar, but their meanings are very different.


The noun wonder describes a feeling of amazement (usually caused by something beautiful or remarkable). As a verb, to wonder means to want to know something. It is similar to to ponder or to feel curious.

  • Wisdom begins in wonder. (Socrates)
  • It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense. (Mark Twain)


To wander is a verb meaning to walk in a leisurely or aimless way. It is similar in meaning to to stroll or to dawdle. As a noun, wander describes the act of wandering.

  • Not all those who wander are lost. (J R R Tolkien)
  • I was a fantastic student until my mind began to wander. (Grace Paley)
  • I went on a wander through the forest to see the flowers in bloom.
  • (Here, wander is a noun.)
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