done, shown, used, etc., maliciously or unjustifiably: a wanton attack; wanton cruelty.
extravagantly or excessively luxurious, as a person, manner of living, or style.
luxuriant, as vegetation.
sportive or frolicsome, as children or young animals.
having free play: wanton breezes; a wanton brook.
a wanton or lascivious person, especially a woman.
to behave in a wanton manner; become wanton.
to squander, especially in pleasure (often followed by away): to wanton away one's inheritance.
- wan·ton·ly, adverb
- wan·ton·ness, noun
- un·wan·ton, adjective
- wanton , won ton
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use wanton in a sentence
Even in liberal havens like California, many considered what they viewed as an unacceptable surge in public disorder—wanton homeless camps, smash-and-grab burglaries, needles on sidewalks—and voted accordingly.California Democrats Were in a NIMBY Mood on Tuesday | Philip Elliott | June 8, 2022 | TIme
The problem isn’t necessarily the presence of mosquito fish in these ecosystems, Polverino says, but their wanton behavior enabled by a lack of predators.A terrifying robot can thwart invasive mosquito fish | Jonathan Lambert | December 16, 2021 | Science News
Although legislation could have prevented such wanton misuse, digitalization would also enable authorities to microtarget where every cent of every stimulus payment went and what it achieved.How China’s Digital Currency Could Challenge the Almighty Dollar | Charlie Campbell | August 11, 2021 | Time
Best of all, riding old bikes doesn’t mean you have to forego the delights of wanton consumerism.
Over a decade, his teaching often took place in an atmosphere of what one cadet called “wanton disrespect.”
One of the reasons the Vikings are viewed so negatively is that their violence could seem wanton or irrational.How the Vikings Saved Europe and Got a Terrible Reputation | William O’Connor | September 17, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
His story is largely devoid of wanton violence and gratuitous sex.
Lind ruled that evidence that al Qaeda had obtained information via WikiLeaks was also relevant to proving “wanton publication.”Questions Over Judge’s Rulings But Little Hope for Bradley Manning | Alexa O'Brien | July 31, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
The new movie Pacific Rim has brought robots bursting back into our collective consciousness like wanton property damage.Terminator, Wall-E & More of the Best Robots in Film (Video) | Victoria Kezra | July 13, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
He stood by the side of the little river, its clear waters showing the fish darting to and fro, as if in wanton play.The Courier of the Ozarks | Byron A. Dunn
Because the Christian regards the hooligan, the thief, the wanton, and the drunkard as men and women who have done wrong.God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
You only encourage him in his wanton mischief, and no one takes any heed how he torments my poor Margaret.The Daisy Chain | Charlotte Yonge
Wrongs less wanton and outrageous precipitated the French Revolution.Portrait and Biography of Parson Brownlow, The Tennessee Patriot | William Gannaway Brownlow
Mary Manley died; an English authoress, of considerable reputation as a writer, but of a wanton and licentious character.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology | Joel Munsell
British Dictionary definitions for wanton
dissolute, licentious, or immoral
without motive, provocation, or justification: wanton destruction
maliciously and unnecessarily cruel or destructive
unrestrained: wanton spending
archaic, or poetic playful or capricious
archaic (of vegetation, etc) luxuriant or superabundant
a licentious person, esp a woman
a playful or capricious person
(intr) to behave in a wanton manner
(tr) to squander or waste
- wantonly, adverb
- wantonness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012