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wayward

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adjective way·ward \ˈwā-wərd\

Simple Definition of wayward

  • : tending to behave in ways that are not socially acceptable

  • : not going or moving in the intended direction

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of wayward

  1. 1 :  following one's own capricious, wanton, or depraved inclinations :  ungovernable <a wayward child>

  2. 2 :  following no clear principle or law :  unpredictable

  3. 3 :  opposite to what is desired or expected :  untoward <wayward fate>

waywardly

adverb

waywardness

noun

Examples of wayward in a sentence

  1. parents of a wayward teenager

  2. <had always been the most wayward of their three children>



Origin and Etymology of wayward

Middle English, short for awayward turned away, from away, adverb + -ward


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of wayward

contrary, perverse, restive, balky, wayward mean inclined to resist authority or control. contrary implies a temperamental unwillingness to accept orders or advice <a contrary child>. perverse may imply wrongheaded, determined, or cranky opposition to what is reasonable or normal <a perverse, intractable critic>. restive suggests unwillingness or inability to submit to discipline or follow orders <tired soldiers growing restive>. balky suggests a refusing to proceed in a desired direction or course of action <a balky witness>. wayward suggests strong-willed capriciousness and irregularity in behavior <a school for wayward youths>.

WAYWARD Defined for Kids

wayward

play
adjective way·ward \ˈwā-wərd\

Definition of wayward for Students

  1. 1 :  disobedient

  2. 2 :  not following a rule or regular course of action <A wayward throw broke the window.>





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