V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. having an unpredictable and erratic manner; 2. difficult to guide or discipline; 3. not behaving or moving as expected

Synonyms: erratic, unpredictable, capricious, impulsive, unruly, disobedient, lawless, willful, uncontrollable, rebellious

Antonyms: complaisant, obliging, obedient

Tips: Wayward essentially describes anything that doesn't behave as would be expected. Thus, a badly behaving child can be described as wayward, as can an out-of-bounds ball. For a memory trick, think of the related word "toward." Moving toward your destination is normal. If you are wayward, you move "away" from what is considered appropriate or normal. A good golf shot moves toward the flag. A wayward golf shot is off the mark. A good student moves toward graduation. A wayward student is disruptive and moves away from the path to graduation.

Usage Examples:

A wayward ball from the golf course broke a window of our house. (off course, uncontrollable, unpredictable)

He was a wayward kid, always getting into trouble and worrying his mother. (lawless, rebellious, unruly)

The teacher struggled with ways to control the wayward child and his disruptive antics in class. (rebellious, willful, disobedient)

His wayward behavior often got him into trouble. (unruly, rebellious)

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