use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

To look up an entry in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, use the search window above. For best results, after typing in the word, click on the “Search” button instead of using the “enter” key.

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you type them in the search bar. For best results with compound words, place a quotation mark before the compound word in the search window.

guide to the dictionary

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. Annual surveys have gauged the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY BLOG

The articles in our blog examine new words, revised definitions, interesting images from the fifth edition, discussions of usage, and more.

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

wild (wīld)
Share:
adj. wild·er, wild·est
1. Occurring, growing, or living in a natural state; not domesticated, cultivated, or tamed: wild geese; edible wild plants.
2. Not inhabited or farmed: remote, wild country.
3. Uncivilized or barbarous.
4.
a. Lacking supervision or restraint: wild children living in the street.
b. Disorderly; unruly: a wild scene in the school cafeteria.
c. Characterized by a lack of moral restraint; dissolute or licentious: recalled his wild youth with remorse.
5. Lacking regular order or arrangement; disarranged: wild locks of long hair.
6. Full of, marked by, or suggestive of strong, uncontrolled emotion: wild with jealousy; a wild look in his eye; a wild rage.
7. Extravagant; fantastic: a wild idea.
8. Furiously disturbed or turbulent; stormy: wild weather.
9. Risky; imprudent: wild financial schemes.
10.
a. Impatiently eager: wild to get away for the weekend.
b. Informal Highly enthusiastic: just wild about the new music.
11. Based on little or no evidence or probability; unfounded: wild accusations; a wild guess.
12. Deviating greatly from an intended course; erratic: a wild bullet.
13. Games Having an equivalence or value determined by the cardholder's choice: playing poker with deuces wild.
adv.
In a wild manner: growing wild; roaming wild.
n.
1. A natural or undomesticated state: returned the zoo animals to the wild; plants that grow abundantly in the wild.
2. often wilds A region that is mostly uninhabited or uncultivated: the wilds of the northern steppes.
intr.v. wild·ed, wild·ing, wilds
To go about in a group threatening, robbing, or attacking others.

[Middle English wilde, from Old English.]

wildly adv.
wildness n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.