• WordNet 3.6
    • adj wanton casual and unrestrained in sexual behavior "her easy virtue","he was told to avoid loose (or light) women","wanton behavior"
    • adj wanton occurring without motivation or provocation "motiveless malignity","unprovoked and dastardly attack"- F.D.Roosevelt"
    • v wanton behave extremely cruelly and brutally
    • v wanton engage in amorous play
    • v wanton become extravagant; indulge (oneself) luxuriously
    • v wanton spend wastefully "wanton one's money away"
    • v wanton indulge in a carefree or voluptuous way of life
    • v wanton waste time; spend one's time idly or inefficiently
    • n wanton lewd or lascivious woman
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Wanton A lewd person; a lascivious man or woman.
    • Wanton A roving, frolicsome thing; a trifler; -- used rarely as a term of endearment. "I am afeard you make a wanton of me.""Peace, my wantons ; he will do
      More than you can aim unto."
    • Wanton One brought up without restraint; a pampered pet. "Anything, sir,
      That's dry and wholesome; I am no bred wanton ."
    • Wanton Reckless; heedless; as, wanton mischief.
    • Wanton Specifically: Deviating from the rules of chastity; lewd; lustful; lascivious; libidinous; lecherous. "Not with wanton looking of folly.""Thou art] froward by nature, enemy to peace,
      Lascivious, wanton ."
    • v. t Wanton To cause to become wanton; also, to waste in wantonness.
    • Wanton To rove and ramble without restraint, rule, or limit; to revel; to play loosely; to frolic. "Nature here wantoned as in her prime.""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!"
    • Wanton To sport in lewdness; to play the wanton; to play lasciviously.
    • Wanton Untrained; undisciplined; unrestrained; hence, loose; free; luxuriant; roving; sportive. "In woods and wanton wilderness.""A wild and wanton herd.""A wanton and a merry [friar].""She] her unadorned golden tresses wore
      Disheveled, but in wanton ringlets waved."
      "How does your tongue grow wanton in her praise!"
    • Wanton Wandering from moral rectitude; perverse; dissolute. "Men grown wanton by prosperity."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • wanton Ill brought up; undisciplined; unrestrained; hence, free from moral control.
    • wanton Characterized by extreme recklessness, fool-hardiness, or heartlessness; malicious; recklessly disregardful of right or of consequences: applied both to persons and to their acts.
    • wanton Wild; unruly; loose; unrestrained.
    • wanton Playful; sportive; frolicsome.
    • wanton Rank; luxuriant.
    • wanton Characterized by unrestrained indulgence of the natural impulses or appetites; dissolute; licentious.
    • wanton Particularly, unchaste; lascivious; libidinous; lustful; lewd.
    • n wanton A pampered, petted creature; one spoiled by fondness or indulgence; also, a frolicsome, roving, sportive creature; a trifier: used sometimes as a term of endearment.
    • n wanton A lewd person; a lascivious man or woman.
    • wanton To revel; frolic unrestrainedly; sport.
    • wanton To sport or dally in lewdness; sport lasciviously.
    • wanton To make wanton.
    • wanton To spend or waste in wantonness.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Wanton won′tun moving or playing loosely: roving in sport: frisky: wandering from rectitude: licentious: running to excess: unrestrained: irregular
    • n Wanton a wanton or lewd person, esp. a female: a trifler
    • v.i Wanton to ramble without restraint: to frolic: to play lasciviously
    • ***


  • William Shakespeare
    “The teeming Autumn big with rich increase, bearing the wanton burden of the prime like widowed wombs after their lords decease.”
  • Henry Fielding
    “Dancing begets warmth, which is the parent of wantonness. It is, Sir, the great grandfather of cuckoldom.”
  • William Shakespeare
    “As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods; They kill us for their sport.”
  • Francis Bacon
    “Nuptial love makes mankind; friendly love perfects it; but wanton love corrupts and debases it.”
  • Marquis De Sade
    “Woman's destiny is to be wanton, like the bitch, the she-wolf; she must belong to all who claim her.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. wantoun, contr. from wantowen,; pref. wan-, wanting (see Wane (v. i.)), hence expressing negation + towen, p. p., AS. togen, p. p. of teón, to draw, to educate, bring up; hence, properly, ill bred. See Tug (v. t.)


In literature:

He is wantonly rude to foreigners, whose helplessness should make some appeal to his humanity.
"Americans and Others" by Agnes Repplier
So you would vex me from sheer wantonness of heart in order to try my patience?
"Women of Modern France" by Hugo P. Thieme
There was a wanton light in her eyes.
"The Trail Horde" by Charles Alden Seltzer
Hither, thither, could I play, And my wanton flesh obey.
"Wine, Women, and Song" by Various
It is, and always has been, the result of moral degradation or wantonness.
"The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English" by R. V. Pierce
Not even the madness of anger would justify so wanton an act.
"My Lady of Doubt" by Randall Parrish
The altars and confessionals were wantonly destroyed.
"A Journal From Our Legation in Belgium" by Hugh Gibson
That spirit which alone can woo and win the smiles of the wanton gods of the wilderness.
"The Triumph of John Kars" by Ridgwell Cullum
No military advantage is sufficient motive for such wanton ravishment.
"Kelly Miller's History of the World War for Human Rights" by Kelly Miller
I've already hanged a dozen of my own men for rape, murder and wanton vandalism.
"Space Viking" by Henry Beam Piper

In poetry:

Wanton wenches do not bring
For my hairs black colouring :
For my locks, girls, let 'em be
Grey or white, all's one to me.
"To his Girls" by Robert Herrick
O they wrought grief that brought me here,
A wanton thing and wild,
To drink the cup for mortals brew'd
Who am an elfin child.
"The Elf-Child" by Cicely Fox Smith
To death he doomed her lover true,
And swore his lowly blood
Should stain the land, whose soil would blush
At wanton womanhood.
"Dunolly's Daughter" by John Douglas Sutherland Campbell
Oh! it maketh old men witty,
Young men wanton, women idle,
While that patience weeps, for pity
Reason bite not nature's bridle.
"A Quarrel With Love" by Nicholas Breton
"Go to! my thrall at last thou art!
Ere bud to rounded blossom change;
Thou wilt for wanton lips and heart
Most false, thy soul exchange!"
""In Exchange For His Soul!"" by Isabella Valancy Crawford
Which done, to still their wanton cries,
When quiet grown she'd seen them,
She kissed, and wiped their dove-like eyes,
And gave the bag between them.
"The Bag Of The Bee" by Robert Herrick

In news:

A man charged with two felony counts of wanton endangerment for brandishing a weapon around his mother and 5-year-old daughter waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Randolph County Magistrate Court Wednesday.
A law that is tough on crime can also be wantonly cruel.
Forsaking TV for Online Games and Wanton Web Sites.
In a 1972 opinion, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart wrote that the death penalty should not "be so wantonly and so freakishly imposed".
THE memorably uncomfortable summer of 1988 has left many Americans with a suspicion that nature is at last getting even for mankind's wanton pollution of the atmosphere.
There is a recent generation of American men who came of age too late for free love and wanton property-grabbing, and too early for postgrunge emotional wankery and info-age immediacy.
China bans rowdy game show for ' wanton ' content.
Man, 18, charged with wanton endangerment, fleeing from police.
Mother's Charges Upgraded to Wanton Murder in Son's Death.
While civilized societies have always condemned wanton murder and shown sympathy for innocent victims, in this opera the reverse is true.
"Obviously, no country can tolerate a wanton attack on its civilians," said Netanyahu, standing beside Clinton.
A Hopkinsville man was arrested Friday afternoon on wanton endangerment and other charges after allegedly making disturbing threats to a woman and starting a small fire.
Man, 18, charged with wanton endangerment , fleeing from police.
A Vine Grove man charged with leading a Hodgenville police officer on a fatal vehicle pursuit was indicted Monday with a charge of wanton murder.
Oh Little Miss Justice, you coy, wanton, oft-violated Jezebel, desired by all, available for a price.

In science:

He became so enthralled by the idea of such complexity on one scale emerging from simplicity on another that he didn’t even pay any attention to an attractive young grasshopperess making her wanton way just below him.
Interplay between Network Topology and Dynamics in Neural Systems