The definition of wayward is being insistent on having your own way, being headstrong or unpredictable.
A child who misbehaves in unpredictable ways is an example of a wayward child.
- insistent upon having one's own way; headstrong, willful, disobedient, etc.: a wayward youth
- conforming to no fixed rule or pattern; unpredictable; irregular; capricious; erratic
- mischievous, naughty, flirtatious, etc.: a wayward glance
- Archaic unwanted or unexpected: wayward fate
Origin of waywardMiddle English weiward, aphetic for aweiward: see away and -ward
- Deviating from what is desired, expected, or required, especially in being disobedient or in gratifying one's own inclinations: “a teacher taking pains with a wayward but promising child” ( George Orwell )
- Difficult or impossible to manage, control, or keep in order: a wayward strand of hair.
- Going somewhere not intended or desired: a wayward golf shot; a wayward courier.
- Following no clear pattern; unpredictable: “events that were often thought to be wayward, capricious, and inexplicable” ( Marq de Villiers )
Origin of waywardMiddle English short for awaiward turned away, perverse awai away ; see away . -ward -ward
(comparative more wayward, superlative most wayward)
way +"Ž -ward