- The definition of wanton is undisciplined, reckless or malicious.
- An example of wanton is a child who throws rocks through the neighbors' windows even though he is told to stop.
- An example of wanton is someone who knows they are very drunk and drives home anyway.
- An example of wanton is someone who spreads hurtful lies about another person.
- Obsolete undisciplined; unmanageable: a wanton child
- sexually loose or unrestrained: a wanton woman
- Old Poet. frisky; playful; frolicsome
- Old Poet. capricious; unrestrained: wanton winds
- senseless, unprovoked, unjustifiable, or deliberately malicious: wanton cruelty, a wanton insult
- recklessly or arrogantly ignoring justice, decency, morality, etc.: wanton disregard of human rights
- Now Rare luxuriant: said of vegetation, etc.
- lavish, luxurious, or extravagant: said of speech, dress, etc.
Origin of wantonMiddle English wantowen, variant, variety of wantogen, wanton, irregular ; from Old English wan-, used as negative prefix ; from wan, lacking, deficient (see wane) + togen, past participle of teon, to draw, educate, bring up (see tow)
- a. Lascivious or promiscuous. Used especially of women.b. Exciting or expressing sexual desire: a wanton pose.
- Marked by unprovoked, gratuitous maliciousness; capricious and unjust: wanton destruction.
- Unrestrainedly excessive: wanton extravagance.
- Luxuriant; overabundant: wanton tresses.
- Frolicsome; playful: a wanton fawn.
- Obsolete Rebellious; refractory.
intransitive verbwan·toned, wan·ton·ing, wan·tons
- To behave in a wanton manner; act lasciviously.
- To move idly or playfully.
Origin of wantonMiddle English wantowen : wan-, not, lacking (from Old English; see eu&schwa;- in Indo-European roots) + towen, past participle of teen, to bring up (from Old English tēon, to lead, draw; see deuk- in Indo-European roots).
(comparative more wanton, superlative most wanton)
(third-person singular simple present wantons, present participle wantoning, simple past and past participle wantoned)
From wan- + (a descendant of) Old English togen, past participle of tÄ“on (“to train, discipline").
wanton - Legal Definition