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Definition of "wanton" []

  • Immoral or unchaste; lewd. (adjective)
  • Gratuitously cruel; merciless. (adjective)
  • Marked by unprovoked, gratuitous maliciousness; capricious and unjust: wanton destruction. (adjective)
  • Unrestrainedly excessive: wanton extravagance; wanton depletion of oil reserves. (adjective)
  • Luxuriant; overabundant: wanton tresses. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "wanton" in a sentence
  • "V. ii.310 (340,7) you make a wanton of me] A _wanton_ was, a man feeble and effeminate."
  • "Mr. Rowland, the Ramsey pub landlord, says his change of heart about the EU came when he saw what he calls the "wanton destruction" that EU rules and quotas brought to fishing towns on the northern English coast."
  • "Maxwell land grant case, which he characterizes as a wanton and shameful surrender to the rapacity of monopolists of 1,662,764 acres of the public domain, on which hundreds of poor men had settled in good faith and made valuable improvements."