Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

WANTONNESS, crim. law. A licentious act by one man towards the person of another without regard to his rights; as, for example, if a man should attempt to pull off another's hat against his will in order to expose him to ridicule, the offence would be an assault, and if he touched him it would amount to a battery. (q.v.)
     2. In such case there would be no malice, but the wantonness of the act would render the offending party liable to punishment.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
(Spartan women were notoriously free with their favors.) Plutarch reports that Alcibiades "would say, in his vain way, he had not done this thing out of mere wantonness or insult, nor to gratify a passion, but that his race might one day be kings over the Lacedaemonians." Later, when the Spartans, led by the properly resentful Agis, grew suspicious of Alcibiades, he went over to the Persian satrap Tissaphernes, whom he charmed out of his silken trousers.
When all is said and done, suffice to say that A Shattering of Silence is a scathing indictment of the wantonness of colonial violence.
4, 2016) ("Under Alabama law, Plaintiffs' negligence and wantonness claims are distinct from their AEMLD claim."); see Vesta Fire Ins.
The courtly lyrics and the male-voiced erotic song on folio 98r assert that women possess all the "pleasure" in heterosexual erotic relationships by cruelly holding men "in cure" [in their power], while the three female-voiced "songs of wantonness" on folio 98v complicate this notion by vividly depicting various factors that constrain women's erotic agency: the threat of unplanned pregnancy, lack of reproductive choice, and sexual violence." Like the lyrics in the Maitland Quarto and the Devonshire Manuscript, the anthology's songs provide a nuanced example of how women's desires could be represented in premodern lyric.
In the same breath, Milton invokes the moral strength of true Christianity by upholding truth, rather than to succumb to the wantonness of falsehood and voices his concern.
The gift of The Carousel of Desire exists in the vividness of its prose: in its hungry explorations of wantonness unfettered, or in the bemused unpacking of the neuroses of those who feed off connection, but who never see far beyond themselves.
Culpable negligence is a course of conduct showing reckless disregard of human life, or of the safety of persons exposed to its dangerous effects, or such an entire want of care as to raise a presumption of a conscious indifference to consequences, or which shows wantonness or recklessness, or a grossly careless disregard for the safety and welfare of the public, or such an indifference to the rights of others as is equivalent to an intentional violation of such rights.
With changing times, where women are encouraged to be more go-getting and career-oriented, it would be wrong to interpret their independence as a sign of wantonness that could promote wicked thoughts among the opposite sex.
In this wantonness, VHP, RSS and Bajrang Dal - extreme right Hindu factions colluded willingly.
The plaintiffs brought claims of negligence and wantonness against Hasberry and Tri-County Trucking, along with claims of negligent entrustment and negligent supervision against Tri-County Trucking.
It was his misfortune to have been the son of an abandoned woman, and to have been bred in a home, which adultery and wantonness had defiled.
Garcia goes one step beyond prior scholars who pointed out that it only applies to the faithful: he ties the statements of doctrine in the Torah, Bible, and Koran calling for the slaughter of nonbelievers to the wantonness of groups of primates in killing members of other groups of their own species.