Etymology: Middle English wandren, from Old English wandrian; akin to Middle High German wandern to wander, Old English windan to wind, twist
Date: before 12th century
a. to move about without a fixed course, aim, or goal
b. to go idly about ; ramble <wandering around the house> 2. to follow a winding course ; meander 3. a. to go astray (as from a course) ; stray <wandered away from the group> b. to go astray morally ; err c. to lose normal mental contact ; stray in thought <his mind wandered> transitive verb to roam over <wandered the halls> • wander noun • wanderer noun Synonyms: wander, roam, ramble, rove, traipse, meander mean to go about from place to place usually without a plan or definite purpose. wander implies an absence of or an indifference to a fixed course <fond of wandering about the square just watching the people>. roam suggests wandering about freely and often far afield <liked to roam through the woods>. ramble stresses carelessness and indifference to one's course or objective <the speaker rambled on without ever coming to the point>. rove suggests vigorous and sometimes purposeful roaming <armed brigands roved over the countryside>. traipse implies a course that is erratic but may sometimes be purposeful <traipsed all over town looking for the right dress>. meander implies a winding or intricate course suggestive of aimless or listless wandering <the river meanders for miles through rich farmland>.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.