German word of the day: Wunder

Tom Ashton-Davies
Tom Ashton-Davies - [email protected]
German word of the day: Wunder
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

This word is everywhere in Germany throughout December, but it can be used all year round.


What does it mean?

‘Das Wunder’, which sounds like this, translates to ‘the wonder’ or ‘the miracle’ in English. 

It typically refers to  an extraordinary or inexplicable event that provokes awe or admiration due to its exceptional nature. 

Why do I need to know it?

You will see this word in many different places this Christmas, but it doesn’t exclusively refer to religious miracles. 

‘Wunder’ simply refers to something remarkable, miraculous or astonishing, encompassing a wide range of occurrences, from unexpected everyday events to natural phenomena. 

This miraculous word has its roots in the Old High German term ‘wuntar’ from around the year 800, which evolved into the Middle High German ‘wunder’, the term that is still in use today. 

You will also recognise that it's very similar to the English word 'wonder' which is also of Germanic origin. 


How to use it:

Der Duft von Plätzchen backen verbreitet ein Gefühl von Wunder und Magie

The scent of baking cookies spreads a feeling of wonder and magic.

Die Geburt Jesu wird als das größte Wunder der Weihnachtsgeschichte gefeiert.

The birth of Jesus is celebrated as the greatest miracle of the Christmas story. 

Sie hat sich wie durch ein Wunder erholt. 

She recovered as if by a miracle. 

Ein medizinisches Wunder. 

A medical miracle.


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