v. wan·dered, wan·der·ing, wan·ders
1. To move about without a definite destination or purpose.
2. To go by an indirect route or at no set pace; amble: wander toward town.
3. To proceed in an irregular course; meander.
4. To go astray: wander from the path of righteousness.
5. To lose clarity or coherence of thought or expression.
To wander across or through: wander the forests and fields.
The act or an instance of wandering; a stroll.
[Middle English wanderen, from Old English wandrian.]
wander·er n. wander·ing·ly adv.
Synonyms: wander, ramble, roam, rove1, range, meander, stray, gallivant, gad1
These verbs mean to move about at random or without destination or purpose. Wander and ramble stress the absence of a fixed course or goal: wandered down the hall lost in thought. They would go off together, rambling along the river (John Galsworthy).
Roam and rove emphasize freedom of movement, often over a wide area: Herds of horses and cattle roamed at will over the plain (George W. Cable). For ten long years I roved about, living first in one capital, then another (Charlotte Bront?).
Range suggests wandering in all directions: a large hunting party known to be ranging the prairie (Francis Parkman).
Meander suggests leisurely wandering over an irregular or winding course: He meandered to and fro . . . observing the manners and customs of Hillport society (Arnold Bennett).
Stray refers to deviation from a proper course: I ask pardon, I am straying from the question (Oliver Goldsmith).
Gallivant refers to wandering in search of pleasure: gallivanted all over the city during our visit.
Gad suggests restlessness: gadded about unaccompanied in foreign places.