- sportive or frolicsome, as children or young animals.
- having free play: wanton breezes; a wanton brook.
verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
Origin of wanton
Examples from the Web for wanton
Over a decade, his teaching often took place in an atmosphere of what one cadet called “wanton disrespect.”
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|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|DAILY BEAST
No huge tax cuts for the rich; no repeal of Obamacare; no opposition to same-sex marriage; no wanton unilateralism; and so on.
Men and women could love together seven years, and no wanton lusts were between them, and then was love truth and faithfulness.The English Novel in the Time of Shakespeare|J. J. Jusserand
Nuptial love maketh mankind; friendly love perfecteth it; but wanton love corrupteth, and embaseth it.Essays|Francis Bacon
These forays were in some instances accompanied by wanton excesses and needless bloodshed.
Most persons appear unable to restrain this wanton inclination to take life, when a mustang approaches within rifle-shot.
Those men were done to death by wanton carelessness upon the part of men sent out by the British War Office.
Word Origin for wanton
c.1300, wan-towen, "resistant to control; willful," from Middle English privative prefix wan- "wanting, lacking" (from Old English wan "wanting;" see wane) + togen, past participle of teon "to train, discipline;" literally "to pull, draw," from Proto-Germanic *teuhan (cf. Old High German ziohan "to pull;" see tug). The basic notion perhaps is "ill-bred, poorly brought up;" cf. German ungezogen "ill-bred, rude, haughty," literally "unpulled."
As Flies to wanton Boyes are we to th' Gods, They kill vs for their sport. [Shakespeare, "Lear," 1605]
Especially of sexual indulgence from late 14c. The only English survival of a once-common Germanic negating prefix still active in Dutch (cf. wanbestuur "misgovernment," wanluid "discordant sound"), German (wahn-), etc. Related: Wantonly; wantonness.
"one who is ill-behaved," especially (but not originally) "lascivious, lewd person," c.1400, from wanton (adj.).
1580s, from wanton (n.). Related: Wantoned; wantoning.