definition of wantonness by The Free Dictionary

This, it is true, would of itself alone never have been able to eradicate Jones from his bosom; but it was greatly injurious to him, and prepared Mr Allworthy’s mind for those impressions which afterwards produced the mighty events that will be contained hereafter in this history; and to which, it must be confest, the unfortunate lad, by his own wantonness, wildness, and want of caution, too much contributed.
But let it be admitted, for argument’s sake, that mere wantonness and lust of domination would be sufficient to beget that disposition; still it may be safely affirmed, that the sense of the constituent body of the national representatives, or, in other words, the people of the several States, would control the indulgence of so extravagant an appetite.
Leandra’s youth furnished an excuse for her fault, at least with those to whom it was of no consequence whether she was good or bad; but those who knew her shrewdness and intelligence did not attribute her misdemeanour to ignorance but to wantonness and the natural disposition of women, which is for the most part flighty and ill-regulated.
This brute had run a little way and then turned savagely at bay, and Montgomery–with a certain wantonness, I thought–had shot him.
He had swept it out of existence, as it seemed, without any provocation, as a boy might crush an ant hill, in the mere wantonness of power.
He devastates his own kingdom in the wantonness of his force.
No conservatory of a king could compare with this wild wantonness of sun-generous vegetation.
With the wantonness of a sick man’s fancy, he likened it to the mighty cry of some Titan of the Elder World vexed with misery or wrath.
Weston may grow cross from the wantonness of comfort, or his son may plague him.”
I have the books yet; two little, stout volumes in fine print, with the marks of wear on them, but without those dishonorable blots, or those other injuries which boys inflict upon books in resentment of their dulness, or out of mere wantonness. I was always sensitive to the maltreatment of books; I could not bear to see a book faced down or dogs-eared or broken-backed.
Most of all, it was gambling, and on many an occasion not necessary for the advancement of his own schemes, he, as he called it, went the stock-exchange a flutter, out of sheer wantonness and fun.
The picture I present to you is peaceful and human, and you must feel that you could deny it only in the wantonness of power and cruelty.

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