adjective Etymology: Middle English, short for awayward turned away, from away, adverb + -ward Date: 14th century 1. following one's own capricious, wanton, or depraved inclinations ; ungovernable <
a wayward child
2. following no clear principle or law ; unpredictable 3. opposite to what is desired or expected ; untoward <
wayward fate
Synonyms: see contrarywaywardly adverbwaywardness noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wayward — Way ward, a. [OE. weiward, for aweiward, i. e., turned away. See {Away}, and { ward}.] Taking one s own way; disobedient; froward; perverse; willful. [1913 Webster] My wife is in a wayward mood. Shak. [1913 Webster] Wayward beauty doth not fancy… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wayward — [wā′wərd] adj. [ME weiward, aphetic for aweiward: see AWAY & WARD] 1. insistent upon having one s own way, contrary to others advice, wishes, or orders; headstrong, willful, disobedient, delinquent, etc. 2. conforming to no fixed rule or pattern; …   English World dictionary

  • wayward — index disobedient, disorderly, dissolute, eccentric, froward, insubordinate, intractable, lawless, opposite …   Law dictionary

  • wayward — late 14c. aphetic shortening of aweiward turned away, from AWAY (Cf. away) + WARD (Cf. ward) …   Etymology dictionary

  • wayward — perverse, froward, restive, *contrary, balky Analogous words: *insubordinate, contumacious, rebellious: refractory, recalcitrant, intractable, headstrong, *unruly: capricious, *inconstant, fickle, unstable Contrasted words: amenable, tractable, * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • wayward — [adj] contrary, unmanageable aberrant, arbitrary, balky, capricious, changeable, contumacious, cross grained, delinquent, disobedient, disorderly, errant, erratic, fickle, flighty, fractious, froward, headstrong, immoral, inconstant, incorrigible …   New thesaurus

  • wayward — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ self willed and unpredictable; perverse. DERIVATIVES waywardly adverb waywardness noun. ORIGIN shortening of obsolete awayward «turned away» …   English terms dictionary

  • wayward — waywardly, adv. waywardness, n. /way weuhrd/, adj. 1. turned or turning away from what is right or proper; willful; disobedient: a wayward son; wayward behavior. 2. swayed or prompted by caprice; capricious: a wayward impulse; to be wayward in… …   Universalium

  • wayward — /ˈweɪwəd / (say waywuhd) adjective 1. turned or turning away from what is right or proper; perverse: a wayward son. 2. swayed or prompted by caprice, or capricious: a wayward fancy; a wayward impulse. 3. turning or changing irregularly; irregular …   Australian English dictionary

  • wayward — way|ward [ weıwərd ] adjective 1. ) a wayward child or someone with wayward behavior is difficult to control and does unexpected things 2. ) not organized or controlled in the right way: wayward thoughts …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • wayward — UK [ˈweɪwə(r)d] / US [ˈweɪwərd] adjective 1) a wayward child or someone with wayward behaviour is difficult to control and does unexpected things 2) not organized or controlled in the right way wayward thoughts …   English dictionary

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