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WORDS: Merriam-Webster word of the day MEANDER

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verb | mee-AN-der


1 : to follow a winding or intricate course

2 : to wander aimlessly or casually without urgent destination : ramble

Did You Know?

Roam, ramble, and meander all mean to move about from place to place without a plan or definite purpose, but each suggests wandering in a unique way.

Roam refers to carefree wandering over a wide area often for pleasure (as in “I roamed over the hills for hours”).
Ramble stresses carelessness and indifference to one’s course or objective (for instance, “the speaker rambled on without ever coming to the point”).
Meander, which comes from Greek Maiandros—an old name for a river in Asia Minor that is now known as the Menderes—implies a winding course and lazy movement, and it is still sometimes associated with rivers (as in, “the river meandered through the town”). Meander can also be used as a noun meaning “a winding path.”

Examples of MEANDER

“The trail meanders through towering evergreens, over a creek and beside a waterfall.”
— Jim Ryan, The Oregonian, 7 Feb. 2018

“Instead of hooks or choruses, there were intensities, pulses, sung words that meandered and then dissolved into crystalline sound. They were barely songs. But they were enough. The listener got the impression that language was insufficient to express her highs and lows.”
— Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 4 Dec. 2017

Test Your Vocabulary

What word refers to a limit or point that you reach when the results of your actions cannot be changed, and is from the name of the river that Julius Caesar crossed into Italy thereby starting a war?

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One Comment to WORDS: Merriam-Webster word of the day MEANDER

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