Origin of wont

1300–50; (adj.) Middle English wont, woned, Old English gewunod, past participle of gewunian to be used to (see won2); cognate with German gewöhnt; (v.) Middle English, back formation from wonted or wont (past participle); (noun) apparently from conflation of wont (past participle) with obsolete wone wish, in certain stereotyped phrases
Related formswont·less, adjective
Can be confusedwant wontwon't wont

Synonyms for wont

1. habituated, wonted. 2. use.

Antonyms for wont


[wohnt, wuhnt]

contraction of will not: He won't see you now.
Can be confusedwon't wont

Usage note

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for wont

given, accustomed, inclined, used

Examples from the Web for wont

Contemporary Examples of wont

Historical Examples of wont

  • Speak to me as is your wont—with the same kindliness and warmth—you know I am bound to you.

  • I am a peaceful trader, and I am not wont to be so shouted at upon so small a matter.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Burke took refuge, as his wont was when too hard pressed, in a mighty bellow.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Indeed, on the morrow she seated herself at the work-frame and embroidered as she was wont to do.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • You told me that you and your father were wont to go out together in the morning.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

British Dictionary definitions for wont



(postpositive) accustomed (to doing something)he was wont to come early


a manner or action habitually employed by or associated with someone (often in the phrases as is my wont, as is his wont, etc)


(when tr, usually passive) to become or cause to become accustomed

Word Origin for wont

Old English gewunod, past participle of wunian to be accustomed to; related to Old High German wunēn (German wohnen), Old Norse una to be satisfied; see wean 1, wish, winsome


contraction of

will not
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

Word Origin and History for wont

"accustomed," Old English wunod, past participle of wunian "to dwell, be accustomed," from Proto-Germanic *wun- "to be content, to rejoice" (cf. Old Saxon wunon, Old Frisian wonia "to dwell, remain, be used to," Old High German wonen, German wohnen "to dwell;" related to Old English winnan, gewinnan "to win" (see win) and to wean. The noun meaning "habitual usage, custom" is attested from c.1300.


contraction of will not, first recorded mid-15c. as wynnot, later wonnot (1580s) before the modern form emerged 1660s. See will.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper