- Obs. 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)