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meander (n.)

1570s, "confusion, intricacy" (a sense now obsolete), from Latin meander "a winding course," from Greek Maiandros, name of a river in Caria noted for its winding course (the Greeks used the name figuratively for winding patterns). In English in reference to river courses from 1590s. Sense of "a winding course, a winding or turning in a passage" is from 1630s. Adjectival forms that have been tried are meandrine (1846); meandrous (1650s); meandrian (c. 1600); meandry (1610s).

meander (v.)

"flow in a winding course" (of rivers), 1610s, from meander (n.). Of a person or persons, "to travel on a meandering river" (1821), then "to wander aimlessly" (1831), which was perhaps influenced by confusion with maunder [OED]. Related: Meandered; meandering.

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