Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Capable of eliciting wonder; astonishing: "The ... whale is one of the most wonderful animals in the world” ( Charles Darwin).
  • adj. Admirable; excellent: "The spirit of the movement was wonderful. It was joyous and grave at the same time” ( Christabel Pankhurst).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Tending to excite wonder; surprising, extraordinary.
  • adj. Surprisingly excellent; very good or admirable, extremely impressive.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Adapted to excite wonder or admiration; surprising; strange; astonishing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of a nature or kind to excite wonder or admiration; strange; astonishing; surprising; marvelous.
  • Synonyms Wonderful, Strange, Surprising, Curious, Unique, extraordinary, marvelous, amazing, startling, wondrous (poetic). Wonderful generally refers to something above the common, and so marvelous, perhaps almost incredible. Strange refers rather to something beside the common—that is, simply very unusual or odd, and so exciting surprise or wonder. Anything that excites awe or high admiration, or strikes one as sublime, is wonderful; an unpleasant object may be strange, but would not be called wonderful. That which is unexpected is surprising, but it is not necessarily strange; as, a surprising fact; a surprising discovery in science. Curious is wonderful on a small scale; by its derivation it often refers to an object extremely nice and intricate or elaborate in itsdetails, but also it oft en conveys thenotion of pleasing strangeness and even of rarity: as, a curious bit of mosaic; a curious piece of mechanism; a curiously colored stone. Unique expresses that which is sole of its kind or quality: as, a unique book; a unique sort of person. See eccentric and surprise.
  • Wonderfully; exceedingly; very.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. extraordinarily good or great ; used especially as intensifiers

Etymologies

From Middle English, from Old English wundorful ("wonderful"), equivalent to wonder +‎ -ful. Cognate Dutch wondervol ("wonderful"), German wundervoll ("wonderful"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To have you come over to the factory, and to have somebody say that Mrs. Sheridan is there, and to go to lunch -- Dearest, do you realize how wonderful and how -- well, how _wonderful_ it's going to be?

    The Beloved Woman

  • "Manti is a wonderful town -- a _wonderful_ town!" he declared.

    'Firebrand' Trevison

  • "A wonderful hard fix, a _wonderful_ hard fix, _under_ th 'ice, an' I were handy t 'stayin' under un," said Ed, taking evident delight in keeping his auditors in suspense.

    Ungava Bob A Winter's Tale

  • Whenever I think of God's wonderful, _wonderful_ goodness to me and of my own sinfulness, I want to find a place low at the foot of the cross where I may cover my face in the dust, and yet go on praising Him.

    The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss

  • In that list are wonderful, * wonderful* films that say so much about the British sensibility, and which have won many awards.

    Haddock Blogs

  • "And it is going to be wonderful -- just _wonderful_ -- before long.

    The Campfire Girls of Roselawn Or, a Strange Message from the Air

  • And much, much more importantly, I have been blessed with wonderful children, and with a wife for whom even the word wonderful is somehow insufficient.

    A Question of Honour

  • During the approximate three-hour running time of the Metropolitan Opera's Shakespeare/Baroque pastiche "The Enchanted Island," the character of Miranda utters the word "wonderful" 16 times.

    Many Wonderful Moments

  • You will love him no matter what, and he can choose his own dreams and that's what we call a wonderful life.

    A Wonderful Life

  • Finally on his last evening there, he was taken out for a banquet-style meal and gorged himself on what he described as wonderful food.

    Archive 2007-02-01

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