wayward child

noun
variants: or

wayward minor

Definition of wayward child

  1. :  a child having a status arbitrarily defined by statute in some states, usually being under a stated age, habitually associating with vicious or immoral persons, or growing up in circumstances likely to lead to criminal activity or willful disobedience of parental or other lawful authority and therefore subject to custodial care and protection for his or her own welfare — compare juvenile delinquent, stubborn child

There's more!

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!
Already a subscriber? Log in.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up wayward child? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to glide in or as if in an airplane

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!