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Wanton vs. wonton

Wanton is an adjective meaning immoral or unchaste, merciless, unrestrainedly excessive, or undisciplined. The word also has rarer verb and noun senses—basically, to be wanton and one who is wanton. A wonton is a noodle-dough dumpling filled with pork or other meat and boiled in soup or fried. It’s a delicious Chinese side dish. The two are homophones at least in some varieties of English, which makes their occasional confusion inevitable.

Examples

Wonton

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I couldn’t find wonton wrappers so I got egg roll wrappers, which were too big. [GoErie.com]

To the delight of patrons, wonton soup and fried rice become gnocchi with Himalayan truffles, sea urchin sashimi, chicken fried beef jerky and other specialties. [The Business Insider]

Wanton

But the way the courts have applied it, the prosecutor has to show a wanton and willful disregard for human life … [Baltimore Sun]

But even though Mrs Cutler clearly suspected her nephew, she forced Gladys and me to listen to a long lecture on the evils of wanton behaviour. [Daily Mail]

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