Wanton meaning

wŏntən
Frequency:
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.

adjective
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Rebellious; refractory.
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To behave in a wanton manner; act lasciviously.
verb
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A wanton person or thing; esp., a sexually loose or unrestrained woman.
noun
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Reckless; extremely careless; acting with utter disregard for others; implies conduct that is beyond mere negligence. In criminal law, malicious or malevolent intent.
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adjective
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Frolicsome; playful.

A wanton fawn.

adjective
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Marked by unprovoked, gratuitous maliciousness; capricious and unjust.

Wanton destruction.

adjective
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Unrestrainedly excessive.

Wanton extravagance.

adjective
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Luxuriant; overabundant.

Wanton tresses.

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To move idly or playfully.
verb
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One, especially a woman, who is licentious or promiscuous.
noun
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Undisciplined; unmanageable.

A wanton child.

adjective
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Senseless, unprovoked, unjustifiable, or deliberately malicious.

Wanton cruelty, a wanton insult.

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Recklessly or arrogantly ignoring justice, decency, morality, etc.

Wanton disregard of human rights.

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To be wanton in behavior, action, manner, etc.
verb
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Capricious, reckless of morality, justice etc.; acting without regard for the law or the well-being of others; gratuitous.
adjective
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A pampered or coddled person.
noun
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An overly playful person; a trifler.
noun
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A self-indulgent person, fond of excess.
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(archaic) A lewd or immoral person, especially a prostitute.
noun
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(intransitive) To rove and ramble without restraint, rule, or limit; to revel; to play loosely; to frolic.
verb
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To waste or squander, especially in pleasure (often with away).

The young man wantoned away his inheritance.

verb
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(intransitive) To act wantonly; to be lewd or lascivious.
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Origin of wanton

  • Middle English wantowen wan- not, lacking (from Old English euə- in Indo-European roots) towen past participle of teen to bring up (from Old English tēon to lead, draw deuk- in Indo-European roots)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From wan- + (a descendant of) Old English togen, past participle of tÄ“on (“to train, discipline").

    From Wiktionary