wanton

[won-tn] /ˈwɒn tn/
adjective
1.
done, shown, used, etc., maliciously or unjustifiably:
"a wanton attack; wanton cruelty."
2.
deliberate and without motive or provocation; uncalled-for; headstrong; willful:
"Why jeopardize your career in such a wanton way?"
3.
without regard for what is right, just, humane, etc.; careless; reckless:
"a wanton attacker of religious convictions."
4.
sexually lawless or unrestrained; loose; lascivious; lewd:
"wanton behavior."
5.
extravagantly or excessively luxurious, as a person, manner of living, or style.
6.
luxuriant, as vegetation.
7.
Archaic.
  1. sportive or frolicsome, as children or young animals.
  2. having free play:
    wanton breezes; a wanton brook.
noun
8.
a wanton or lascivious person, especially a woman.
verb (used without object)
9.
to behave in a wanton manner; become wanton.
verb (used with object)
10.
to squander, especially in pleasure (often followed by away):
"to wanton away one's inheritance."
Origin
1250–1300; Middle English wantowen literally, undisciplined, ill-reared, Old English wan- not + togen past participle of tēon to discipline, rear, cognate with German ziehen, Latin dūcere to lead; akin to tow1
Related forms
wantonly, adverb
wantonness, noun
unwanton, adjective
Can be confused
wanton, won ton.
Synonyms
1. malicious. 2. calculated. 3. heedless, inconsiderate. 4. licentious, dissolute, immoral, libidinous, concupiscent, lustful. 5. lavish. 10. waste.
Antonyms
3. careful, considerate. 4, 5. restrained.
British Dictionary definitions for unwanton
wanton (ˈwɒntən)
 
adj
1.  dissolute, licentious, or immoral
2.  without motive, provocation, or justification: wanton destruction
3.  maliciously and unnecessarily cruel or destructive
4.  unrestrained: wanton spending
5.  archaic, poetic or playful or capricious
6.  archaic (of vegetation, etc) luxuriant or superabundant
 
n
7.  a licentious person, esp a woman
8.  a playful or capricious person
 
vb
9.  (intr) to behave in a wanton manner
10.  (tr) to squander or waste
 
[C13 wantowen (in the obsolete sense: unmanageable, unruly): from wan- (prefix equivalent to un-1; related to Old English wanian to wane) + -towen, from Old English togen brought up, from tēon to bring up]
 
'wantonly
 
adv
 
'wantonness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for unwanton
wanton
c.1300, wan-towen, from M.E. privative prefix wan- "wanting, lacking" (from O.E. wan "wanting;" see wane) + togen, pp. of teon "to train, discipline;" lit. "to pull, draw," from P.Gmc. *teuhan (cf. O.H.G. ziohan "to pull;" see tug). The basic notion perhaps is "ill-bred, poorly brought up;" cf. Ger. ungezogen "ill-bred, rude, haughty," lit. "unpulled."
"As Flies to wanton Boyes are we to th' Gods, They kill vs for their sport." [Shakespeare, "Lear," 1605]
Noun sense of "lascivious, lewd person" is attested from 1529. The verb is recorded from 1582. The only Eng. survival of a once-common Gmc. negating prefix still active in Du. (cf. wanbestuur "misgovernment," wanluid "discordant sound"), Ger. (wahn-), etc.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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