"to wander about aimlessly," c. 1746, earlier "to mumble, grumble" (1620s), both senses perhaps from frequentative of maund "to beg" (1560s), which is possibly from French mendier "to beg," from Latin mendicare (see mendicant). "Though the etymology of maunder is uncertain, it is clear that it is not a corruption of meander" [Fowler], but the two words seem to have influenced each other. Fowler writes that maunder is "best confined to speech, & suggests futility rather than digression ... & failure to reach an end rather than loitering on the way to it." Related: Maundered; maundering.
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