- done, shown, used, etc., maliciously or unjustifiably: a wanton attack; wanton cruelty.
- deliberate and without motive or provocation; uncalled-for; headstrong; willful: Why jeopardize your career in such a wanton way?
- without regard for what is right, just, humane, etc.; careless; reckless: a wanton attacker of religious convictions.
- sexually lawless or unrestrained; loose; lascivious; lewd: wanton behavior.
- 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.
Origin of wanton
Synonyms for wantonSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Antonyms for wanton
Related Words for wantonlywillingly, plainly, publicly, candidly, fully, honestly, simply, readily, blatantly, unabashedly, brazenly, unashamedly, flagrantly, aboveboard, frankly, naively, naturally, shamelessly, straight, ingenuously
Examples from the Web for wantonly
Contemporary Examples of wantonly
Now his people were wantonly punished for resisting the expulsion; for seeking to reverse it.Old Problems and New Realities
November 22, 2012
Historical Examples of wantonly
I have enemies enow, God knows, though I do not wantonly add to the number.The Letters of Robert Burns
You had broken my heart, and I thought that you had done it wantonly.Bardelys the Magnificent
That was their offense, and yet the town was wantonly destroyed.Daughters of the Revolution and Their Times
Charles Carleton Coffin
I now was expected to try to grab the maids and kiss them wantonly.The O'Ruddy
Watch that your pride does not chafe them—your power does not wantonly gall.
- dissolute, licentious, or immoral
- without motive, provocation, or justificationwanton destruction
- maliciously and unnecessarily cruel or destructive
- unrestrainedwanton 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
Word Origin for wanton
"one who is ill-behaved," especially (but not originally) "lascivious, lewd person," c.1400, from wanton (adj.).
1580s, from wanton (n.). Related: Wantoned; wantoning.
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.