Definition of wand in English:



  • 1A long, thin stick or rod, in particular:

    • ‘A very polite guy came over and started to run the wand over me.’
    • ‘Maintain an adequate and consistent distance between the pressure wand and the brickwork so that the spray is not concentrated in orie spot.’
    • ‘The physician merely waves an electronic wand in front of the patient's chest.’
    • ‘It is driven by gears rather than a belt, and also comes with a telescopic extendable wand which means it can get into tight corners and edges.’
    • ‘These range from those high-pressure watering wands designed for insect control to natural predators like lacewings and predatory mites to botanical and chemical pesticides.’
    • ‘But this time, anytime, you know, the wand beeped, they touched me in that spot.’
    • ‘Air Jamaica has reduced its flights to the UK in the wake of the introduction of hi-tech wands that can detect cocaine inside passengers.’
    • ‘Driven by gears rather then a belt, it also has a telescopic wand to reach tight corners, no bag and washable filters.’
    • ‘One way to teach the horse how to back up is to use a whip handle (or you can call it a stick or a wand if you like those terms better) to show the horse which foot you want him to move.’
    • ‘There is a tip wand that stretches the sail out to fit onto the winglets, which are held in place by the aluminum tip tube.’
    • ‘Helping children sail through their homework, Geetika might not have a wand, but she is using a more potent energy: the Internet.’
    • ‘Each musician uses a fibre-optic wand to trigger samples of the space sounds.’
    • ‘Teams of ‘logocops’ have been scanning Olympic souvenir items in shops and market stalls across Sydney with special wands that can detect ‘unofficial’ goods.’
    • ‘During a routine security check at the airport in Kuujjuaraapik, a man became agitated when the wand that is used to check for metal began to beep loudly when security agents waved it near him.’
    • ‘I would hold a wand, made of the silver stick, silver star, and ribbons and on my feet the pink ballet shoes.’
    • ‘Next, he uses the steaming wand to whip up an ideal cream, not too airy, not too thin.’
    • ‘The day begins with early risers ‘beating’ those who are still in bed with small whips or wands made of colored paper by the children of the household.’
    • ‘Blind-folded and with the crowd egging him on, the wand in his hand moved in the air swiftly and continuously in search of that elusive pot.’
    • ‘They check between my legs with a wand that makes a noise. They do all of this in front of other passengers.’
    • ‘You will need to keep the pressure wand fairly close to the siding surface to effectively remove the old paint.’
    baton, stick, staff, pole, bar, dowel, rod, stake
    club, truncheon, mace, sceptre
    twig, cane, birch, switch, sprig, withe, withy
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A rod thought to have magic properties, used in casting spells or performing conjuring tricks:
      ‘the fairy godmother waves her magic wand and grants the heroine's wishes’
      • ‘To couch it in Wilson's terms, the skills you need are vaguely analogous to the qualities represented by the cup, the wand, the sword and the pentacle.’
      • ‘Charity muttered something, raised her wand, and send electrical blue sparks towards the dragon.’
      • ‘It is like a magic trick, those wands which turn into bouquets.’
      • ‘Like a magician waving his magic wand, McGrath took on the guise of Merlin as he wove his magic, enrapturing his team-mates, opponents and adoring masses.’
      • ‘A blaze at a Bradford bookstore almost left Harry Potter fans snapping their wands in frustration.’
      • ‘Just then, the fairy godmother appeared, waved her magic wand, and turned the blades of grass into stems and leaves to hide the cups from the angry queen.’
      • ‘An all-new spell-casting system allows players to really feel the magic for the first time as the controller shakes and reacts with every flick of the wand.’
      • ‘To see Sam now compared to how he was last week is amazing, It's as if someone has waved a magic wand to help him get better.’
      • ‘Harry handed him his wand back, only lingering a little as the buzz passed through them.’
      • ‘My neighbor tells me it's the magic of the wand combined with my psychic aura.’
      • ‘For example, in ritual, swords or knives or wands or candles are often symbolically plunged into chalices.’
      • ‘Hats, bats and wands were created in the art department, while ghoulish recipes were cooked up in the kitchen.’
      • ‘I can't wave a magic wand and suddenly make things right.’
      • ‘Instead, it is told how Branchus cured plague once by a sprinkling of water from his wand and with two lines of strange words, each line consisting of arrangements of the 24 letters of the alphabet.’
      • ‘In these exciting postmodern times, the old school elemental weapons of wand, pentacle, sword and cup are just no longer relevant to our 21st century lives.’
      • ‘Sure, the wand, chalice, dagger, and pentacle are fairly impressive allegorical objects, but frankly, they're quite outdated.’
      • ‘Yes, she has a black cat, a wand, a sword, altars with candies, and statues of gods, goddesses, and saints.’
      • ‘I wanted my Harry Potter supply box that came with four pencils and eight crayons and a ruler and a glue stick that all looked like wands.’
      • ‘I began by celebrating my first Full Moon, in August of 2002, by creating my first wand and formal altar before ritual.’
      • ‘Gone are the wide-eyed kids performing unlikely miracles; enter the spiteful pre-teens who are more than eager to cross swords, and wands, with older muggles and magicians alike.’
      baton, stick, staff, pole, bar, dowel, rod, stake
      club, truncheon, mace, sceptre
      twig, cane, birch, switch, sprig, withe, withy
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A staff or rod held as a symbol of office:
      ‘the beadle rapped noisily with his wand’
      • ‘Wizards are always sticking their wands into any sort of magical affair.’
      baton, stick, staff, pole, bar, dowel, rod, stake
      club, truncheon, mace, sceptre
      twig, cane, birch, switch, sprig, withe, withy
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3informal A conductor's baton.
      baton, stick, staff, pole, bar, dowel, rod, stake
      club, truncheon, mace, sceptre
      twig, cane, birch, switch, sprig, withe, withy
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 A small stick with a brush at one end used to apply mascara:
      ‘a mascara wand’
      • ‘Mascara wand in hand, I brushed my lashes with black.’
      • ‘More than 60% of women who have eyelash extensions wave goodbye to the mascara wand for ever, never to be seen without wonder-lashes again.’
      • ‘I stood in front of the mirror and jabbed myself in the eye twice with mascara wand, I was that excited.’
      • ‘Most assuredly not, says Robinson, who attributes her dramatic transformation to the magic lick of a mascara wand and a touch of gloss.’
      • ‘She picked up a mascara wand and gently tugged it open, revealing a crisp new wand coated in mascara.’
      • ‘There was a small black dot near the corner of her eye where Leslie had doubtlessly stabbed herself with her mascara wand, and a streak of lip gloss on her glasses.’
      • ‘Lampley didn't even flinch when she swatted at his eyes with a mascara wand and even powder-puffed his ears.’
      • ‘I screwed the wand back in the mascara bottle, looked in the mirror and practiced my neutral smile.’
      • ‘This comes in a tube with a wand and you apply it like a lip gloss.’
      • ‘For once, her mother gave a genuine smile and whipped a mascara wand out of her pocket.’
      • ‘You can be bored, scared, hypercritical, injured by a mascara wand or half-asleep, and nobody will be any the wiser.’
      • ‘She opened a drawer in the restroom cabinet, moved aside a curling iron and a hairbrush, and stared with a long face at the coin nestled among the hair pens and mascara wands.’
      • ‘She couldn't use a mascara wand to save herself.’
      • ‘Use application techniques that permit direct contact with the pest weed, such as wands or paint brushes.’
      • ‘It comes in a wand like a mascara brush, which you sweep over your brows to give colour to the hairs rather than the skin.’
      • ‘Kelly reassured her; now back at the mirror, mascara wand in hand.’
      • ‘Just swipe the mascaralike wand on your strands for highlights that will last until you next wash your hair.’
      • ‘Noor yelled, swiveling around from her bureau chair to face her, a mascara wand in her hand.’
      • ‘When applying mascara, drag the wand outwards to the outer upper corner to open up eyes further.’
      • ‘Can you apply mascara on without smearing the wand across your nose?’
  • 2A handheld electronic device which can be passed over a barcode to read the encoded data:

    ‘he waves the computer wand over the special barcode’
    • ‘The person behind the counter, when I was buying the socks, tried to read the barcode with the ‘wand’, and when it couldn't read it, she hit the wand on the counter.’
    • ‘He swipes a bar-code wand across the waybill, a document that shows the contents and destination of the shipment.’
    1. 2.1 A device emitting a laser beam, used especially to create a pointer on a projected image or text:
      ‘you pull out a laser wand and point at the screen on the wall’
      • ‘With his wheezing voice and affinity for using his lecture wand as a torture instrument, any midnight Sabbath sounded better.’
      • ‘Phillips' video montage bombards and caresses the objects with everything from sinuous watery imagery to bouncing polka dots and laser wands that cartwheel and flip with Morse-code rapidity.’
      • ‘For this purpose, a small signal-creating source is inserted into the magnetic wand.’
      • ‘The open surgical field of vision is being replaced by images seen through a telescopic wand.’
    2. 2.2 Each of a pair of handheld lights used by a person on the ground to guide a taxiing aircraft at night.
      • ‘Keyan headed for the left side spot, guided by a tech in black coveralls on the ground, waving two light wands.’
      • ‘Marshallers replaced their flashlight wands and instead used blue chem-sticks to convey their taxi instructions to pilots.’
      • ‘Each wing-walker had only one lighted wand, rather than two.’
      • ‘As a result, passengers and crew found orientation difficult, though the provision of snap light wands alleviated this problem to some degree.’
      • ‘Raise the hook quickly, add power, and taxi forward following the signals of the deckhand's wand light.’
  • 3wandsOne of the suits in some tarot packs, corresponding to batons in others.


Middle English: from Old Norse vǫndr, probably of Germanic origin and related to wend and wind.