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Marvelous vs. Wonderful: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 13, 2023
Marvelous means extremely good or pleasing; remarkable. Wonderful means inspiring delight, pleasure, or admiration; extremely good.

Key Differences

Marvelous often conveys a sense of awe or wonder beyond the ordinary, suggesting something extraordinary or surprising. Wonderful, on the other hand, implies a more general sense of delight or pleasure, often used to describe things that bring happiness.
Marvelous can carry connotations of something being almost magical or too good to be true, whereas wonderful tends to describe things that are reliably pleasing or admirable.
The use of marvelous might imply rarity or uniqueness, indicating something is not commonly encountered. In contrast, wonderful can be used for things that are consistently delightful, even if they are more common.
In terms of emotional impact, marvelous can evoke a stronger sense of astonishment or amazement. Wonderful, while positive, might evoke a warm and comforting sense of enjoyment rather than sheer astonishment.
Marvelous is sometimes used in a more formal or exaggerated context, whereas wonderful is more versatile and commonly used in everyday language.

Comparison Chart


Implies awe, surprise, or something extraordinary
Suggests general delight or pleasure

Emotional Impact

Strong sense of astonishment
Warm, comforting sense of enjoyment


Often implies rarity or uniqueness
Can describe more common, consistently pleasing things


More formal or exaggerated
More versatile, used in everyday language

Usage Context

Can imply something almost magical
Used for things that are reliably good or admirable

Marvelous and Wonderful Definitions


Extremely good or pleasing.
She baked a marvelous cake for the party.


Providing joy or happiness.
Spending time with family is always wonderful.


Causing great wonder; extraordinary.
The magician's act was truly marvelous.


Admirable or excellent.
His wonderful achievements earned him respect.


Astonishing or surprising.
The recovery of the lost artifact was marvelous.


Remarkably good.
She has a wonderful sense of humor.


Seemingly miraculous or magical.
They witnessed a marvelous sunset that evening.


Eliciting positive emotions or satisfaction.
The meal was wonderful, thanks to the chef's skill.


Exaggeratedly good; almost unbelievable.
His performance was nothing short of marvelous.


Inspiring delight or pleasure.
The concert was a wonderful experience.


Causing wonder or astonishment.


Admirable or very good; excellent or splendid
What a wonderful person she is.
Had a wonderful time at the party.


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


Are marvelous and wonderful interchangeable?

They are often used interchangeably but have subtle differences in connotation.

Can wonderful be used to describe people?

Yes, e.g., "She is a wonderful friend."

Is marvelous more formal than wonderful?

Yes, marvelous is often perceived as more formal or exaggerated.

Is marvelous used in exaggeration?

Yes, it can be used to emphasize something's extraordinary nature.

Can both words be used in a casual context?

Yes, but wonderful is more common in casual speech.

Is marvelous suitable for describing natural phenomena?

Yes, especially when they are extraordinary or awe-inspiring.

Can wonderful describe everyday pleasures?

Yes, wonderful is commonly used for everyday delights.

Does marvelous imply something rare or unique?

Often, it suggests rarity or an extraordinary quality.

Does marvelous suggest a degree of disbelief?

Sometimes, it can imply something almost too good to be true.

Is wonderful a common compliment?

Yes, it's often used to express admiration or approval.

Is wonderful appropriate for describing art or music?

Absolutely, especially when they evoke pleasure or admiration.

Can wonderful have a comforting connotation?

Yes, it can evoke a sense of comfort and warmth.

Can wonderful describe someone's character?

Yes, e.g., "He has a wonderful personality."

Can marvelous refer to technological achievements?

Yes, particularly when they are groundbreaking or impressive.

Are there idiomatic expressions with marvelous or wonderful?

Yes, both words appear in various idioms, like "a marvelous time" or "a wonderful surprise."

Can marvelous be used in a sarcastic tone?

Yes, it can be used sarcastically to imply the opposite.

Is wonderful too casual for formal writing?

Not necessarily, but context and audience should guide its use.

Does marvelous carry a sense of grandeur?

Often, it conveys a sense of grandness or magnificence.

Can wonderful imply a sense of relief?

Yes, especially in contexts where an outcome brings joy or relief.

Does marvelous always imply surprise?

Not always, but it often conveys a sense of surprise or awe.
About Author
Written 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.
Edited 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.

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