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See also: won't and wo'n't



Etymology 1[edit]

Origin uncertain; apparently a conflation of wone (custom, habit, practice) and wont (participle adjective, below).


wont (usually uncountable, plural wonts)

  1. (archaic) One's habitual way of doing things; custom, practice.
    He awoke at the crack of dawn, as was his wont.
    • [1644], John Milton, Of Education. To Master Samuel Hartlib, [London: Printed for Thomas Underhill and/or Thomas Johnson], OCLC 15697904; republished in The Works of John Milton, Historical, Political, and Miscellaneous. Now More Correctly Printed from the Originals, than in any Former Edition, and Many Passages Restored, which have been hitherto Omitted. To which is Prefixed, an Account of His Life and Writings [by Thomas Birch]. In Two Volumes, volume I, London: Printed for A[ndrew] Millar, in the Strand, 1753, OCLC 873117158, page 147:
      [T]hey [Spartan youth] are by a ſudden alarum or watch-word, to be called out to their military motions, under ſky or covert, according to the ſeaſon, as was the Roman wont; []
    • 1915, The Practical Dental Journal, volume 15, San Antonio, Tx.: Ferguson Dental Supply Co., OCLC 2266404, page 100:
      Such conditions, having been the common practice for years, and, existing in a less degree in some localities to the present time, afford a tangible reason for a form of correlation that is more universal than it is the wont of the profession to admit; namely, that with the laity, dentistry and "the pulling of teeth," and the dentist and "the tooth puller," are very closely related subjects []
    • 1920, James Brown Scott, “The Federal Convention: An International Conference”, in The United States of America: A Study in International Organization (Publications of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Division of International Law), New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, OCLC 577191540, page 149:
      As was also the wont of international conferences, a delegate from Pennsylvania, in this instance James Wilson, proposed the appointment of a secretary and nominated William Temple Franklin, whose selection would have been agreeable to the authorities of Pennsylvania, inasmuch as he was the grandson of its venerable chief executive.
    • 2001, Orhan Pamuk; Erdağ M. Göknar, transl., “I am Called Black”, in My Name Is Red, London: Faber and Faber, ISBN 978-0-571-20047-4; paperback edition, London: Faber and Faber, 2002, ISBN 978-0-571-21224-8, page 62:
      With a simple-minded desire, and to rid my mind of this irrepressible urge, I retired to a corner of the room, as was my wont, but after a while I realized I couldn't jack off—proof well enough that I'd fallen in love again after twelve years!
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Etymology 2[edit]

From Old English ġewunod, past participle of ġewunian. The verb is derived from the adjective.


wont (not comparable)

  1. (archaic) Accustomed or used (to or with a thing), accustomed or apt (to do something).
    He is wont to complain loudly about his job.
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wont (third-person singular simple present wonts, present participle wonting, simple past and past participle wonted)

  1. (transitive, archaic) To make (someone) used to; to accustom.
    • 1830, [Joseph Plumb Martin], “Campaign of 1780”, in A Narrative of Some of the Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings of a Revolutionary Soldier; Interspersed with Anecdotes of Incidents that Occurred within His Own Observation, Hallowell, Me.: Printed by Glazier, Masters & Co. No. 1, Kennebec-Row, OCLC 11771982, page 141:
      I have heard it remarked by the old farmers, that when beasts are first transferred from one place to another, that if they keep them without food for two or three days, it will go far towards wonting them to their new situation.
  2. (intransitive, archaic) To be accustomed (to something), to be in the habit (of doing something).