[ wey-werd ]
/ ˈweɪ wərd /


turned or turning away from what is right or proper; willful; disobedient: a wayward son; wayward behavior.
swayed or prompted by caprice; capricious: a wayward impulse; to be wayward in one's affections.
turning or changing irregularly; irregular: a wayward breeze.

Origin of wayward

1350–1400; Middle English; aphetic variant of awayward. See away, -ward


3 unsteady, inconstant, changeable.

Related forms

way·ward·ly, adverbway·ward·ness, nounun·way·ward, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wayward

British Dictionary definitions for wayward


/ (ˈweɪwəd) /


wanting to have one's own way regardless of the wishes or good of others
capricious, erratic, or unpredictable

Derived Forms

waywardly, adverbwaywardness, noun

Word Origin for wayward

C14: changed from awayward turned or turning away
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