What does the idiom "no wonder" mean?

Are you using the idiom no wonder but not sure about its meaning? Using idioms, which are important elements of spoken and written language, in the right place strengthens your language skills. Examine the meaning of the no wonder idiom and the situations in which it is used.

Meaning of "no wonder"


The idiom “no wonder” is commonly used to express surprise or disbelief that something happened, or to acknowledge that something is explainable by a particular piece of information, especially when that information has only just been discovered. It is typically used in conversation and can also be written in informal contexts. The phrase may also be used to express a sense of admiration or approval for an accomplishment.


The phrase “no wonder” originated in the late 19th century. It is derived from the older phrase “no marvel,” which was used to describe something that is difficult to believe or find surprising. By the early 20th century, the word “marvel” had become less commonly used and “no wonder” had become a popular substitute. It is derived from the Old English words “no” and “wundrian” which means “to wonder.”


The phrase “no wonder” is typically used informally in conversation or in writing. It is commonly used to describe situations that seem to be explainable in hindsight and to express surprise or disbelief. It can also be used to comment on another person’s achievement or success. For example, one might say “No wonder you got a promotion, you’ve been working so hard!” The phrase can also be used to describe a feeling of understanding or realization, such as “No wonder I never had any luck with that job – it was always a bit of a dead end.”

Example Sentences

  • No wonder I couldn’t find it – it was in the last place I looked.
  • No wonder he was so successful – he worked so hard!
  • No wonder I didn’t understand the instructions – they were written in a foreign language.
  • No wonder she was so stressed – she had three exams in one day!
  • No wonder he’s tired – he was up all night studying!

The meanings of the words in the "no wonder" idiom

Idioms with similar meaning

"Don't judge a book by its cover" is an English idiom that means you shouldn't make assumptions about someone or something based solely on its appearance. In Japanese, the similar idiom is "Hana yori dango," which translates to "Dumplings rather than flowers." This idiom means that substance is more important than appearance.


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