variants: or wayward minor
Definition of wayward child
: 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
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