late 14c., perjurie, in law, "the act of swearing to a statement known to be false, willful utterance of false testimony under oath," via Anglo-French perjurie (late 13c.) and Old French parjure "perjury, false witness," both from Latin periurium "a false oath," from periurare "swear falsely," from per "away, entirely" (see per) + iurare "to swear" (see jury (n.)). Related: Perjurious.
"willful and persistent resistance to legitimate authority," c. 1200, from Old French contumace and directly from Latin contumacia "perseverance in one's purpose or opinions," generally in a bad sense, "arrogance, inflexibility, haughtiness, insolence," also especially "obstinate disobedience to a judicial order," abstract noun from stem of contumax (see contumely).
1660s, "willful destroyer of what is beautiful or venerable," from Vandals, name of the Germanic tribe that sacked Rome in 455 under Genseric, from Latin Vandalus (plural Vandali), from the tribe's name for itself (Old English Wendlas), perhaps from Proto-Germanic *wandljaz "wanderer." The literal historical sense in English is recorded from 1550s.
There does not seem to be in the story of the capture of Rome by the Vandals any justification for the charge of willful and objectless destruction of public buildings which is implied in the word 'vandalism.' It is probable that this charge grew out of the fierce persecution which was carried on by [the Vandal king] Gaiseric and his son against the Catholic Christians, and which is the darkest stain on their characters. [Encyclopaedia Britannica, 13th ed., 1926]
"act of forsaking or abandoning," 1590s, from French désertion (early 15c.), from Late Latin desertionem (nominative desertio) "a forsaking, abandoning," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin deserere "to abandon, to leave, forsake, give up, leave in the lurch," from de "undo" (see de-) + serere "join together, put in a row" (from PIE root *ser- (2) "to line up"). In law, "willful withdrawal of one of the married parties from the other without cause or justification." Earlier in astrology, "forsaking or withdrawal of a favorable influence" (mid-15c.).
late 15c., "the violent doing of a bodily hurt to another person," from Anglo-French maihem (13c.), from Old French mahaigne "injury, wrong, a hurt, harm, damage;" related to mahaignier "to injure, wound, mutilate, cripple" (see maim). Originally, in law, the crime of maiming a person "to make him less able to defend himself or annoy his adversary" [OED]. By 19c. it was being used generally of any sort of violent disorder or needless or willful damage or violence.
early 14c., wan-towen, "resistant to control; willful," from Middle English privative word-forming element wan- "wanting, lacking, deficient," from Old English wan-, which was used interchangeably with un- (1), and is cognate with Dutch wan- (as in wanbestuur "misgovernment," wanluid "discordant sound"), Swedish and Danish van-, from Proto-Germanic *wano- "lacking," from PIE *weno-, suffixed form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out." Common in Old and Middle English, still present in 18c. glossaries of Scottish and Northern English; this word is its sole modern survival.
Second element is Middle English towen, from Old English togen, past participle of teon "to train, discipline;" literally "to pull, draw," from Proto-Germanic *teuhan (source also of Old High German ziohan "to pull," from Proto-Germanic *teuhan; see tug (v.)). The basic notion perhaps is "ill-bred, poorly brought up;" compare German ungezogen "ill-bred, rude, naughty," literally "unpulled." Especially of sexual indulgence from late 14c. Meaning "inhumane, merciless" is from 1510s. Related: Wantonly; wantonness.
As Flies to wanton Boyes are we to th' Gods, They kill vs for their sport. [Shakespeare, "Lear," 1605]