1. 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)

2. One brought up without restraint; a pampered pet. "Anything, sir, That's dry and wholesome; I am no bred wanton." (Beau. & Fl)

3. A lewd person; a lascivious man or woman.

1. 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]" (Chaucer) "[She] her unadorned golden tresses wore Disheveled, but in wanton ringlets waved." (Milton) "How does your tongue grow wanton in her praise!" (Addison)

2. Wandering from moral rectitude; perverse; dissolute. "Men grown wanton by prosperity."

3. 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)

4. Reckless; heedless; as, wanton mischief.

Origin: OE. Wantoun, contr. From wantowen; pref. Wan- wanting (see Wane,), hence expressing negation + towen, p. P, AS. Togen, p. P. Of teon to draw, to educate, bring up; hence, properly, ill bred. See Tug.

(01 Mar 1998)

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