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[mahr-vuh l] /ˈmɑr vəl/
something that causes wonder, admiration, or astonishment; a wonderful thing; a wonder or prodigy:
The new bridge is an engineering marvel.
Archaic. the feeling of wonder; astonishment.
verb (used with object), marveled, marveling or (especially British) marvelled, marvelling.
to wonder at (usually followed by a clause as object):
I marvel that you were able to succeed against such odds.
to wonder or be curious about (usually followed by a clause as object):
A child marvels that the stars can be.
verb (used without object), marveled, marveling or (especially British) marvelled, marvelling.
to be filled with wonder, admiration, or astonishment, as at something surprising or extraordinary:
I marvel at your courage.
Origin of marvel
1250-1300; Middle English mervel < Old French merveil(l)e < Late Latin mīrābilia marvels, noun use of neuter plural of Latin mīrābilis marvelous. See admirable
Related forms
marvelment, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for marvel


verb -vels, -velling, -velled (US) -vels, -veling, -veled
when intr, often foll by at or about; when tr, takes a clause as object. to be filled with surprise or wonder
something that causes wonder
(archaic) astonishment
Word Origin
C13: from Old French merveille, from Late Latin mīrābilia, from Latin mīrābilis, from mīrārī to wonder at
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for marvel

c.1300, "miracle," also "wonderful story or legend," from Old French merveille "a wonder, surprise, miracle," from Vulgar Latin *miribilia (also source of Spanish maravilla, Portuguese maravilha, Italian maraviglia), altered from Latin mirabilia "wonderful things," from neuter plural of mirabilis "wonderful, marvelous, extraordinary; strange, singular," from mirari "to wonder at," from mirus "wonderful" (see smile). A neuter plural treated in Vulgar Latin as a feminine singular. Related: Marvels.


c.1300, "to be filled with wonder," from Old French merveillier "to wonder at, be astonished," from merveille (see marvel (n.)). Related: Marveled; marveling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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