Definition of wantonly in US English:



  • 1In a deliberate and unprovoked way.

    ‘during the raids, the police wantonly destroyed property’
    ‘these children are being wantonly misled’
    • ‘Cities and towns and villages were wantonly destroyed without military justification or necessity.’
    • ‘She wantonly allowed criminal activity to occur at the home, which she owns.’
    • ‘Their horse-drawn buggy is wantonly destroyed by a factory owner's automobile.’
    • ‘David is appalled that Polly could so wantonly cut herself loose from her baby to continue this swinging lifestyle.’
    • ‘All this destruction had been wantonly brought about by him.’
    • ‘He denied ever being told anything about his troops wantonly killing large groups of civilians.’
    • ‘In 568 the Lombards invaded, a people even more wantonly destructive than the Vandals.’
    • ‘The judge said he had never seen a defendant act so "recklessly and wantonly and flagrantly and criminally."’
    • ‘They wantonly destroy the property and lives of a people who are as entitled to live on the land.’
    • ‘A lot of teams wantonly break the rules.’
    • ‘He is a resolutely loutish, wantonly violent thug.’
    • ‘I didn't just want to wantonly and gratuitously attack them.’
    1. 1.1 In a reckless way.
      ‘he was wantonly extravagant with his money’
      ‘they add teams wantonly’
      • ‘There is a great reason why credit issuers offer rewards - they work to make even the thriftiest cardholder spend money almost wantonly.’
      • ‘It's incomprehensible how much taxpayer money is so easily and wantonly wasted to benefit a select few.’
      • ‘In this age of steam and electricity there is danger of growing wantonly wasteful in the use of coal and of despising and neglecting the natural water resources of the country.’
      • ‘It's just freaking people out that we're so wantonly wasting water here.’
      • ‘They spend money wantonly with no fear of reprisals at an election.’
      • ‘It seems wantonly reckless to throw away even a tenuous link.’
      • ‘Make a fortune and waste it wantonly.’
      • ‘Around this time of year, phrases like "freak athlete" and "unlimited potential" get thrown around wantonly.’
      • ‘If a company holds personal contact information gathered for one purpose, it cannot be wantonly used for another.’
      • ‘There are people who feel that gamers are wantonly throwing their lives away, spending so much times playing games.’
      • ‘To take them wantonly, without thought, without necessity, simply for the fun of it, is to wrong creatures whom God loves.’
  • 2In a lustful or sexually unrestrained way.

    ‘she pressed herself against him wantonly’
    • ‘They are sleazy, doped-up debs unable to control their desire to be wantonly worked over by drooling dolts.’
    • ‘The mutual moralizing shock that, at one time, each had wandered wantonly down the path of premarital partying without inviting the other, nixes the upcoming nuptials.’
    • ‘Her eyes, her cruelly turned eyebrow, and her wantonly parted lips evoked a whole range of feelings I'm still trying to fathom.’
    • ‘It is seen as the result of individual irresponsibility, of people wantonly sleeping around and neglecting to practise safe sex.’
    • ‘This is paired with Missy's wantonly lascivious delivery and interplay with her vocal partners.’
  • 3literary Profusely.

    ‘bushes and trees grew wantonly, spilling and tumbling over one another’
    • ‘Bushes and trees grew wantonly, spilling and tumbling over one another.’
    • ‘In every month the tourist will find some aesthetic pleasure peculiar to the season, such as the plum blossoms or the cherry flowers, growing wantonly in beautiful profusion.’
    • ‘Musically, he drew wantonly from every conceivable style.’
    • ‘I overdosed so wantonly on celluloid, in fact, that the Olympic torch came to town and I missed it.’
    • ‘Raspberries sucker and spread wantonly, so you only need to buy one plant to get started.’
    1. 3.1 In a playful or lively way.
      ‘the shady groves beneath which the cool breeze played wantonly’
      • ‘A gadget in the exhibition hall enables the visitor to re-design his / her face with their fingertips: twisting the face, enlarging the eyes or mouth, anyone can play this game wantonly as the artist himself advocated.’
      • ‘Whilst we were sailing, a marmoset chanced upon the book, as it was negligently laid by, which wantonly playing therewith plucked out certain leaves, and tore them in pieces.’
      • ‘Draw a chart of similarities between true roses and canker roses: both are deep dyed, both hang on thorns, both play wantonly as the zephyr discloses their covered buds.’
      • ‘Marriage was clearly not undertaken unadvisedly or wantonly, and celibacy was commonplace.’
      • ‘Moreover the misrule and riot that they keep in those houses is very great, for very wantonly they sport and dally together.’
      • ‘One day she sat musing by a forest fountain, dressed in a robe of yellow silk, wantonly plucking the flowers which grew on the mossy parapet of the spring and binding them into a bouquet for the Clerk of Mezlean.’
      • ‘You could get caught wantonly mucking up a wedding ceremony, if you put up your hand when the vicar says 'does anyone present know of just reason...' etc. and say 'because the bride is made entirely out of meringue!'’
      • ‘How wantonly the kids skip, and I lie still upon the ground!’
      • ‘You know how wild the country is there, and how wantonly the brook runs, bending, and winding, and coquetting with the wintergreen and cranberry vines that fringe its banks.’