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A Word A Day — wend

September 02, 2012

Word of the Day

  • wend
  • audio pronunciation
  • \WEND\


: to direct one's course : travel, proceed

The hikers wended through the forest's trails.

"Improvements in wastewater treatment and conservation upgraded the water quality of the river, which wends its way nearly 500 miles from its origin in the Appalachian Plateau to Point Lookout, Maryland, where it empties into the Chesapeake Bay." — From an article by John Pekkanen in The Washingtonian, July 2012


"Wend" is related to the verb "wind," which means, among other things, "to follow a series of curves and turns." It is also a distant relative of the verb "wander." "Wend" itself began its journey in Old English as "windan," meaning "to twist." "Wend" has twisted itself into various meanings over the years. Most of its senses—including "to come about," "to depart," "to change," and "to betake"—have since wandered off into obscurity, but its current sense of "to direct or to proceed" is holding steady on the path.

From Merriam-Webster Online at

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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.