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Marvel vs. Marvellous: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 7, 2023
"Marvel" can be a noun or verb referring to a wonderful, astonishing object or the action of being filled with wonder or astonishment. "Marvellous" is an adjective describing something that is extremely good, wonderful, or astonishing.

Key Differences

The words "marvel" and "marvellous" both convey a sense of wonder and astonishment but are used in different grammatical contexts and have distinct applications. "Marvel" can serve as both a noun and a verb. As a noun, it refers to a person or thing that is astonishing, extraordinary, or noteworthy. It represents something that causes wonder or astonishment. As a verb, "marvel" means to be filled with surprise, wonder, or astonishment. On the other hand, "marvellous" is an adjective and describes something as causing great wonder, being extraordinary, or extremely good or pleasing. It serves to characterize objects, people, or experiences that evoke a sense of wonder or astonishment due to their exceptional qualities.
When you "marvel" at something, you are expressing your sense of wonder or astonishment at witnessing it. It involves an active reaction to something wonderful or extraordinary. You may marvel at the beauty of nature, the complexity of a machine, or the talent of an individual. Contrastingly, when something is described as "marvellous," it is being characterized as causing wonder or being extraordinary in nature. A marvellous painting, a marvellous performance, or marvellous scenery evoke admiration and wonder due to their outstanding qualities.
In everyday language, using "marvel" typically implies that one is experiencing or expressing wonder or astonishment. You marvel at things that are impressive, extraordinary, or unexpected. It reflects a reaction or a response to witnessing something wonderful. Conversely, using "marvellous" is a way of describing or qualifying things, experiences, or people as being of extraordinary quality or character. It serves to attribute a sense of wonder or excellence to the subject being described.
The term "marvel" is versatile, being applicable to various subjects and contexts, whether one is marveling at a natural phenomenon, a work of art, or a scientific breakthrough. It encompasses objects, occurrences, or people that are extraordinary or noteworthy. Meanwhile, "marvellous" universally serves as a qualifier for anything deemed exceptionally good, wonderful, or impressive. It is a descriptive term applied to characterize or categorize subjects based on their ability to evoke wonder or admiration.

Comparison Chart

Part of Speech



To express or represent wonder or astonishment.
To describe something as causing great wonder.

Usage in a Sentence

He could only marvel at her strength.
The scenery was simply marvellous.


Various subjects and contexts.
Serves as a qualifier for anything deemed exceptionally good.


Reaction or representation of wonder.
Descriptive, characterizing subjects as wonderful.

Marvel and Marvellous Definitions


A wonderful or astonishing person or thing.
The Great Wall of China is a marvel of engineering.


Extremely good or pleasing; wonderful.
It's marvellous what they can do with modern technology.


An extraordinary example of its kind.
This ancient city is a marvel of architecture.


Surprisingly excellent or impressive.
She cooked a marvellous dinner for all of us.


An action of expressing astonishment or wonder.
The crowd began to marvel at the magician's tricks.


Causing great wonder; extraordinary.
The marvellous painting left the audience in awe.


Something that causes astonishment or admiration.
The athlete's resilience was a marvel to behold.


Of the highest quality or standard.
We had a marvellous view from our hotel room.


One that evokes surprise, admiration, or wonder.


Causing wonder or astonishment.


(Archaic) Strong surprise; astonishment.


Of the highest or best kind or quality; first-rate
Has a marvelous collection of rare books.


To become filled with wonder or astonishment.


(British spelling) Exciting wonder or surprise; astonishing; wonderful.
I went to a marvellous party last week.


To feel amazement or bewilderment at or about
We marveled that they walked away unhurt from the car accident.




That which causes wonder; a prodigy; a miracle.


Extraordinarily good; used especially as intensifiers;
A fantastic trip to the Orient
The film was fantastic!
A howling success
A marvelous collection of rare books
Had a rattling conversation about politics
A tremendous achievement


(archaic) wonder, astonishment.


Being or having the character of a miracle


To wonder at.


Too improbable to admit of belief;
A tall story


To cause to wonder or be surprised.


Characterized by wonder and astonishment.
The scientist made a marvellous discovery.


(intransitive) To become filled with wonderment or admiration; to be amazed at something.


That which causes wonder; a prodigy; a miracle.
I will do marvels such as have not been done.
Nature's sweet marvel undefiled.




To be struck with surprise, astonishment, or wonder; to wonder.
Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.


To marvel at.


To cause to marvel, or be surprised; - used impersonally.
But much now me marveleth.


Something that causes feelings of wonder;
The wonders of modern science


Be amazed at;
We marvelled at the child's linguistic abilities


Express astonishment or surprise about something


To become filled with surprise or wonder.
We marvel at the beauty of the universe.


Can you "marvel" at someone's abilities?

Yes, you can marvel at someone’s abilities if you find them astonishing or extraordinary.

Does "marvellous" imply a positive connotation?

Yes, "marvellous" typically conveys a highly positive sense, indicating something is wonderful or excellent.

Is a "marvel" always tangible?

No, a "marvel" can also be an intangible occurrence, idea, or ability that is astonishing.

Is it common to "marvel" at natural phenomena?

Yes, it’s common to marvel at natural phenomena that are strikingly beautiful or extraordinary.

Can "marvel" be used as both a noun and a verb?

Yes, "marvel" can refer to an astonishing object or the action of being filled with wonder.

Can you "marvel" at a concept or idea?

Yes, you can marvel at a concept or idea if you find it astonishingly brilliant or innovative.

Can a taste be "marvellous"?

Yes, if a taste is exceptionally delightful, it can be described as "marvellous."

Can "marvellous" refer to the quality of a performance?

Yes, "marvellous" can describe a performance that is of exceptionally high quality or extraordinarily good.

Is it possible to "marvel" at someone's kindness?

Yes, one can marvel at someone’s kindness if it is found to be extraordinarily generous or compassionate.

Is "marvellous" used to describe something extraordinary?

Yes, "marvellous" describes something extremely good or causing great wonder.

Can "marvellous" describe someone's personality?

Certainly, "marvellous" can be used to describe a personality that is extraordinarily pleasant, charming, or admirable.

Is "marvellous" synonymous with "wonderful"?

Yes, "marvellous" is synonymous with "wonderful" as both describe something extremely good or pleasing.

Can a "marvel" be man-made?

Absolutely, many man-made structures, inventions, and creations are considered marvels due to their extraordinary nature.

Can a day be "marvellous"?

Yes, a day can be described as "marvellous" if it brings extraordinary joy, experiences, or conditions.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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