Wan"ton (?), a. [OE. wantoun, contr. from wantowen; pref. wan- wanting (see Wane, v. i.), hence expressing negation + towen, p. p., AS. togen, p. p. of teon to draw, to educate, bring up; hence, properly, ill bred. See Tug, v. t.]


Untrained; undisciplined; unrestrained; hence, loose; free; luxuriant; roving; sportive.

"In woods and wanton wilderness." Spenser. "A wild and wanton herd." Shak.

A wanton and a merry [friar]. Chaucer.

[She] her unadorned golden tresses wore Disheveled, but in wanton ringlets waved. Milton.

How does your tongue grow wanton in her praise! Addison.


Wandering from moral rectitude; perverse; dissolute.

"Men grown wanton by prosperity."



Specifically: Deviating from the rules of chastity; lewd; lustful; lascivious; libidinous; lecherous.

Not with wanton looking of folly. Chaucer.

[Thou art] froward by nature, enemy to peace, Lascivious, wanton. Shak.


Reckless; heedless; as, wanton mischief.


© Webster 1913.

Wan"ton, n.


A roving, frolicsome thing; a trifler; -- used rarely as a term of endearment.

I am afeard you make a wanton of me. Shak.

Peace, my wantons; he will do More than you can aim unto. B. Jonson.


One brought up without restraint; a pampered pet.

Anything, sir, That's dry and wholesome; I am no bred wanton. Beau. & Fl.


A lewd person; a lascivious man or woman.


© Webster 1913.

Wan"ton, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Wantoned (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Wantoning.]


To rove and ramble without restraint, rule, or limit; to revel; to play loosely; to frolic.

Nature here wantoned as in her prime. Milton.

How merrily we would sally into the fields, and strip under the first warmth of the sun, and wanton like young dace in the streams! Lamb.


To sport in lewdness; to play the wanton; to play lasciviously.


© Webster 1913.

Wan"ton, v. t.

To cause to become wanton; also, to waste in wantonness.



© Webster 1913.

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