wont (wônt, wōnt, wŭnt)
1. Accustomed or used: "The poor man is wont to complain that this is a cold world" (Henry David Thoreau).
2. Likely: chaotic as holidays are wont to be.
Customary practice; usage. See Synonyms at habit.
v. wont or wont·ed, wont·ing, wonts
To make accustomed to.
To be in the habit of doing something.
[Middle English, past participle of wonen, to be used to, dwell; see WON1.]
Usage Note: The most traditionally correct pronunciations of wont are (wōnt), the common pronunciation in Britain, sounding like the contraction won't, and (wŭnt), the historic American pronunciation, rhyming with hunt. However, the most common form of wont in contemporary American speech is probably (wônt), which to most people's ears sounds similar to (or even identical with) the word want. This (wônt) pronunciation may in fact be motivated by a confusion of the meanings of wont and want, both of which have to do with personal inclination. In any case, all three of these pronunciations are acceptable, though the historic (wŭnt) pronunciation may strike some listeners as odd or affected.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
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