From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


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.