wonder

wonder n 1 Wonder, marvel, prodigy, miracle, phenomenon can all mean something that causes astonishment or admiration.
Wonder applies specifically to whatever excites surprise, astonishment, or amazement (as by its perfection, its greatness, or its inexplicableness)
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the hotels were wonders of comfort— White

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the real wonder of jujitsu is ... in the uniquely Oriental idea which the whole art expresses— Hearn

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Chinese painters are not . . . absorbed in expressing their sensuous delight in the wonder and glory of the world— Binyon

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Marvel applies to something that excites surprise or astonishment especially by its extraordinariness, its strangeness, or its curiousness
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"All I ask from them is discreetness." "Ay," said Adrian, whose discreetness was a marvelMeredith

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had never believed that such marvels of the cooking art really existed— Wouk

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for the Roman army was still strong, and was to remain for centuries one of the marvels of the world— Buchan

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Prodigy may name some extraordinary or ab-normal fact or circumstance in nature seen as an omen or portent
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were not comets formerly dreaded, as awful prodigies intended to alarm the world?— Jeremiah Joyce

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or apply to something that makes one marvel because of its oddness or unusualness especially in degree of some quality (as skill, endurance, size, or achievement)
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pondering whether her husband, a despotic and pitiless pedant, would have tried to turn their boy into a prodigyEdmund Wilson

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women performing prodigies of endurance, bravery, and hope— Newsweek

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Miracle applies to something that is accomplished or occurs which seems to those who are witnesses or have undergone the experience to exceed human powers and to require a supernatural or superhuman explanation
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wonders ye have done; miracles ye cannot— Tennyson

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In its nonreligious sense miracle retains its implication of wonder in its insistence on the fact that the person or thing so designated is beyond ordinary human comprehension or capacity to do or produce; only occasionally does it suggest a supernatural or superhuman agent or agency
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clung to their candles with an instinctive feeling that these primitive instruments were . . . more to be trusted than the miracles of science— Wolfe

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the miracle which we call genius— Lowes

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it was a miracle that the two men survived so many days' exposure in an open boat

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it was a miracle of rare device, a sunny pleasure dome with caves of ice!— Coleridge

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Phenomenon in its more popular sense, which is somewhat contrary in meaning to phenomenon as used by scientists and philosophers (compare phenomenal under MATERIAL), implies something exceptional or extraordinary; it applies to a person, animal, or thing that is regarded as a prodigy or marvel or occasionally merely as an oddity
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the captain—a phenomenon during prohibition because he was honest— Dinneen

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Beat ... the first phenomenon in years to come out of the Great Unwashed which Madison Avenue hadn't rigged, manipulated or foreseen— Mailer

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2 Wonder, wonderment, amazement, admiration can denote the complex emotion aroused by something that is inexplicable or incomprehensible and, often, awe-inspiring.
Wonder and wonderment commonly suggest novelty or strangeness in what excites the emotion and astonishment or perplexity in the person affected
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still the wonder grew that one small head could carry all he knew— Goldsmith

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showed no great zest ... a quiet wonderment rather, faintly tinged with pleasure— Cather

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In its richest use wonder often implies rapturous awe
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nor any power above or under ever made us mute with wonderShelley

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Amazement stresses bewilderment or loss of power to collect one's thoughts; it rarely gives an indication of like or dislike for the object exciting the emotion
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reports . . . which constantly express amazement at the extent and severity of Russian attacks . . . and despair at the German setbacks— Shirer

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Admiration, which in its most general sense implies an often enthusiastic recognition of superiority (see REGARD n), can add an implication of absorbed or ecstatic attention (as to the rare, the beautiful, or the sublime) that approaches awe in its elevation and intensity
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respect which in the lay mind may well mount to admiration and even to aweMore

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considered the emotion of reverence to be very complex. Into it enters awe which itself is a blend of fear and admiration. Admiration, in turn, represents a fusion of negative self-feeling and wonder— G. W. Allport

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a Kioto painter . . . who burnt a hole in his roof to admire a moonlight effect, and in his rapt admiration omitted to notice that he had set a whole quarter of the city on fire— Binyon

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Analogous words: awe, *reverence, fear: astonishment, amazement (see corresponding verbs at SURPRISE): perplexity, puzzlement, bewilderment (see corresponding verbs at PUZZLE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • Wonder — may refer to: * Wonder (emotion) * Wonder Woman, DC comics Amazonian superheroine or the 1970s television series based on the comic * The Seven Wonders of the World * The television series Small Wonder * The television series The Wonder Years *… …   Wikipedia

  • Wonder — Уандер Полное имя Уэйн Гарднер Страна …   Википедия

  • Wonder — Won der, n. [OE. wonder, wunder, AS. wundor; akin to D. wonder, OS. wundar, OHG. wuntar, G. wunder, Icel. undr, Sw. & Dan. under, and perhaps to Gr. ? to gaze at.] [1913 Webster] 1. That emotion which is excited by novelty, or the presentation to …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wonder — [wun′dər] n. [ME < OE wundor, akin to Ger wunder: only in Gmc] 1. a person, thing, or event that causes astonishment and admiration; prodigy; marvel 2. the feeling of surprise, admiration, and awe aroused by something strange, unexpected,… …   English World dictionary

  • wonder — ► NOUN 1) a feeling of surprise and admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, or unfamiliar. 2) a person or thing that causes such a feeling. 3) (before another noun ) having remarkable properties or abilities: a wonder drug. ► VERB… …   English terms dictionary

  • Wonder — Won der, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Wondered}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Wondering}.] [AS. wundrian.] [1913 Webster] 1. To be affected with surprise or admiration; to be struck with astonishment; to be amazed; to marvel. [1913 Webster] I could not sufficiently… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wonder — [n1] amazement admiration, astonishment, awe, bewilderment, concern, confusion, consternation, curiosity, doubt, fascination, fear, incredulity, jar, jolt, marveling, perplexity, perturbation, puzzlement, reverence, shock, skepticism, start,… …   New thesaurus

  • Wonder — ist der Name von Erich Wonder (* 1944), österreichischer Bühnenbildner Stevie Wonder (* 1950; eigentlich Steveland Hardaway Judkins Morris), US amerikanischen Pop und Soul Sänger, Komponist sowie Multiinstrumentalist Diese Seite ist eine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • wonder — (n.) O.E. wundor marvelous thing, marvel, the object of astonishment, from P.Gmc. *wundran (Cf. O.S. wundar, M.Du., Du. wonder, O.H.G. wuntar, Ger. wunder, O.N. undr), of unknown origin. In M.E. it also came to mean the emotion associated with… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Wonder — Won der, a. Wonderful. [Obs.] Gower. [1913 Webster] After that he said a wonder thing. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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