Meaning of “wonder” in the English Dictionary

"wonder" in British English

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wonderverb

uk /ˈwʌn.dər/ us /ˈwʌn.dɚ/

wonder verb (QUESTION)

B1 [ I ] to ask yourself questions or express a wish to know about something:

[ + question word ] Shouldn't you phone home? Your parents will be wondering where you are.
He's starting to wonder whether he did the right thing in accepting this job.
[ + speech ] Will this turkey be big enough for eight, I wonder?
"Have you decided where you're going next summer?" "I've been wondering about (= considering) going to Florida."

B1 used in phrases, at the beginning of a request, to make it more formal and polite:

We were wondering if/whether you'd like to have dinner with us some time?
[ + question word ] I wonder whether you could pass me the butter?
I wonder if you could give me some information about places to visit in the area?

More examples

  • I wonder what the future holds for you and me.
  • She wondered who'd sent her the mysterious email.
  • I was wondering if you'd like to come to the cinema with me this evening?
  • I wonder what it was about her upbringing that made her so insecure.
  • When did he last brush his teeth, she wondered.

wondernoun

uk /ˈwʌn.dər/ us /ˈwʌn.dɚ/

[ U ] a feeling of great surprise and admiration caused by seeing or experiencing something that is strange and new:

The sight of the Grand Canyon stretching out before them filled them with wonder.
The boys gazed in wonder at the shiny red Ferrari.

[ C usually plural ] an object that causes a feeling of great surprise and admiration:

We spent a week visiting the wonders of Ancient Greek civilization.
With all the wonders of modern technology, why has no one come up with a way to make aircraft quieter?

[ C ] informal an extremely useful or skilful person:

Our new babysitter's a wonder - she'll come at very short notice and the kids love her.

More examples

  • Space travel is one of the wonders of modern science.
  • Running works wonders for the metabolism.
  • In his poems everyday reality is invested with a sense of wonder and delight.
  • After five years with the company she hadn't been promoted - small wonder then that she decided to quit her job.
  • The baby looked with wonder at the Christmas tree.

(Definition of “wonder” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"wonder" in American English

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wonderverb

us /ˈwʌn·dər/

wonder verb (QUESTION)

to think about things in a questioning and sometimes doubting way:

[ I ] I often wonder about those kids.
[ + question word ] I wonder what he is doing here.
[ I ] Don’t you ever wonder if she’s happy?

wondernoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈwʌn·dər/

wonder noun [ C/U ] (SURPRISE)

a feeling of great surprise and admiration, or someone or something that causes such feelings:

[ U ] People simply stared at her in wonder.
[ C ] She’s a wonder!
[ U ] If you didn’t study, no wonder you failed the test.
[ C ] Among the wonders of medicine is anesthetic.

Idiom(s)

(Definition of “wonder” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)