9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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
Related forms
waywardly, adverb
waywardness, noun
unwayward, adjective
1. contrary, headstrong, stubborn, obstinate, unruly, refractory, intractable. See willful. 3. unsteady, inconstant, changeable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wayward
  • So, claims about new technology and wayward kids shouldn't be taken too seriously.
  • The central government claims it can enforce its wishes over wayward local administrations.
  • Trickles of wayward meteors are visible year-round in any clear night sky.
  • New research finds adultlike structure in the brains of wayward youths.
  • Need little pruning except to remove wayward or dead growth.
  • Perhaps you have not yet experienced the impact of being on the receiving end of wayward professors.
  • But there is also much unease about the taxpayer paying billions to take control of wayward businesses.
  • Kangaroo pockets that sit on a wide self-fabric hem hold the contents of a wayward life.
  • It sat vacant and boarded up, used only as a home for wayward pigeons.
  • For a while, it even became a temporary home to wayward cattle.
British Dictionary definitions for wayward


wanting to have one's own way regardless of the wishes or good of others
capricious, erratic, or unpredictable
Derived Forms
waywardly, adverb
waywardness, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for wayward

late 14c., shortening of aweiward "turned away," from away + -ward.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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