To travel around without a set route, objective, or goal in mind. B: to walk around aimlessly: ramble, roam around the home 2: to take a meandering path: meander 3a: to wander (as from a course): to deviate from the group. B to go morally astray: err. A variant of this word is wanderer.
Wanderer may be used as a term of abuse. To call someone a wanderer is to accuse them of leaving their community without any clear purpose or destination in mind. It implies that they are idle and immoral, and do not deserve any better treatment.
In modern usage, the word applies primarily to people who have no specific employment but who make their own way in the world by selling products or services obtained by begging, stealing, or borrowing money. The wanderer may also be a person who is looking for something or somewhere. For example, a wanderer might be a traveler on a grand adventure who wants to see what new places exist in the world.
People have always traveled, either within their own countries or between different countries, especially to find work. Since the industrial revolution, people have also wandered in search of good jobs with paychecks. The term "job hunter" was originally used by workers who traveled around seeking better opportunities beyond their current location.
Meander, ramble, roam, rove, and traipse are some synonyms for wander. While all of these terms indicate "to go from place to place, frequently without a plan or specific aim," "wander" denotes a lack of or disregard for a set direction. Thus, someone who wanders is one who is not guided by any particular goal or purpose.
Wandering can also be defined as "a long idle stroll." This definition makes it clear that wandering is not a single activity but rather a state of mind. If you are wandering then you are simply enjoying the scenery and taking in your environment. There is no point in time or place where you are headed directly to; therefore, you cannot get lost if you remain within your own backyard.
People often wander because they do not know what else to do with their time. Sometimes this may be because they are waiting for something or someone, such as friends or relatives. Other times, they may feel trapped inside their apartment because they cannot afford to leave or live in fear of being mugged when out on their daily walk. No matter the reason, people tend to wander when they should be focusing on one thing at a time.
Some might argue that traveling is similar to wandering since you can't always see where you're going. However, wandering is usually done voluntarily while traveling could be due to force (e.g., imprisoned).
Wander, wander, ramble, rove, traipse, meander are all words that signify to go from place to place without a plan or defined aim. The lack or indifference to a set route is implied by the term "wander." I enjoy roaming about the plaza and just observing the people go about their business, which implies that I should travel around freely and frequently far off. The word "wander" also means to move from one occupation to another without any definite plan or purpose, as if at random. He wandered from job to job until he found one that suited him.
The word "wander" comes from the old English word "wagen," which means "to carry on one's back." This has evolved into our current word "load." So, "to wander about" is very similar to the phrase "to load up on vacation."
There are many ways to use the word "wander" in a sentence:
He was a restless wanderer who spent most of his life traveling across Europe looking for new places to explore. = He was a restless traveler who spent most of his life traveling across Europe looking for new places to explore.
She lives in Los Angeles, where she can wander the streets almost anywhere and not run into anyone she knows. = She lives in Los Angeles, where she can walk the streets almost anywhere and not run into anyone she knows.