Does wireless printer have to tether to dsl router with a cable?

i'll apologize in advance... don't eeeeeven know enough to be remotely dangerous :) but... i just bought an HP Officejet 4500 wireless all-in-one printer. i imagined this would mean that my laptop can print to the printer without a USB cable, but also that the printer itself would not have to "cable" to anything, but rather be wireless and located anywhere in the house. was i wrong? does this printer HAVE to connect physically with the router box? thanks so much for any help!
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