- Untrained; undisciplined; unrestrained; hence, loose; free; luxuriant; roving; sportive."In woods and wantonwilderness."Spenser."A wild and wantonherd."Shak."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.]
- Wandering from moral rectitude; perverse; dissolute."Men grown wantonby prosperity." [Roscommon.]
- 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.]
- Reckless; heedless; as, wanton mischief.
Etymology: OE. wantoun, contr. from wantowen; pref. wan- wanting (see Wane (v. i.)), hence expressing negation + towen, p. p., AS. togen, p. p. of teón to draw, to educate, bring up; hence, properly, ill bred. See Tug (v. t.)