Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who acts without moral restraint; a dissolute person.
  • n. One who defies established religious precepts; a freethinker.
  • adj. Morally unrestrained; dissolute.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Someone freed from slavery in Ancient Rome; a freedman.
  • n. One who is freethinking in religious matters.
  • n. Someone (especially a man) who takes no notice of moral laws, especially those involving sexual propriety; someone loose in morals; a pleasure-seeker.
  • adj. Dissolute, licentious, profligate; loose in morals.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Free from restraint; uncontrolled.
  • adj. Dissolute; licentious; profligate; loose in morals.
  • n. A manumitted slave; a freedman; also, the son of a freedman.
  • n. One of a sect of Anabaptists, in the fifteenth and early part of the sixteenth century, who rejected many of the customs and decencies of life, and advocated a community of goods and of women.
  • n. One free from restraint; one who acts according to his impulses and desires; now, specifically, one who gives rein to lust; a rake; a debauchee.
  • n. A defamatory name for a freethinker.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Roman history, a freedman; a person manumitted or set free from legal servitude.
  • n. A member of a Jewish synagogue mentioned in Acts vi. 9, probably composed of descendants of Jewish freedmen who had been expelled from Rome by Tiberius, and had returned to Palestine.
  • n. A freeman of an incorporate town or city.
  • n. One who is free from or does not submit to restraint; one who is free in thought and action.
  • n. One who holds loose views with regard to the laws of religion or morality; an irreligious person; a free-thinker.
  • n. [capitalized] A member of a pantheistic, antinomian sect which existed about 1530 in France and neighboring countries.
  • n. A man given to the indulgence of lust; one who leads a dissolute, licentious life; a rake; a debauchee.
  • Free; unrestrained.
  • Licentious; dissolute; not under the restraint of or in accord with law or religion: as, libertine principles.
  • n. At Aberdeen University, a free scholar; one who has no bursary. See bursary, 2.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. unrestrained by convention or morality
  • n. a dissolute person; usually a man who is morally unrestrained

Etymologies

Middle English, freedman, from Latin lībertīnus, from lībertus, from līber, free; see leudh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin libertinus ("a freedman, prop. adj., of or belonging to the condition of a freedman"), from libertus ("a freedman"), from liber ("free"); see liberal, liberate. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To say that all libertarians are libertine is not factual.

    Libertarian Manifesto, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Now one day a certain libertine of Rājagaha, in the prime of youth, was standing in the Jīvaka Mango-grove, and saw her going to siesta; and feeling enamoured, he barred her way, soliciting her to sensual pleasures.

    Psalms of the Sisters

  • At the word libertine, the judge, the whole court, and the audience started; but it was presently clear the witness meant that the questioner was abusing his legal privileges, though the people present interpreted it another way, and quite rightly.

    You Never Know Your Luck; being the story of a matrimonial deserter. Volume 1.

  • Then Alice, on her part, hardly knew even what was implied by the word libertine or seducer.

    Woodstock

  • For if the French can be regarded affectionately for anything it is their liberal -- for which some have read "libertine" -- attitude toward sex and things sexy: the very connotation of French evokes Ooh-la-la images of naughty goings-on.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XX No 1

  • On the contrary, the libertine is the type of hero who receives the commendatory quips of erotic dames and the questionable interest of hysterical maidens.

    The Eugenic Marriage, Vol 2 (of 4) A Personal Guide to the New Science of Better Living and Better Babies

  • On the one hand, it sought to suppress and uproot the sensuous, and thus became strictly ascetic (imitation of Christ as motive of asceticism; [360] Christ and the Apostles represented as ascetics); [361] on the other hand, it treated the sensuous element as indifferent, and so became libertine, that is, conformed to the world.

    History of Dogma, Volume 1 (of 7)

  • The sins that were thine were those of the man to whom pleasure is all in all: thou wert, from root to branch, sap and in heart, what moralists term the libertine; hence the light wooing, the quick desertion, the broken faith, the organized perfidy, that manifested thy bearing to those gentler creatures who called thee

    Paul Clifford — Volume 07

  • The sins that were thine were those of the man to whom pleasure is all in all: thou wert, from root to branch, sap and in heart, what moralists term the libertine; hence the light wooing, the quick desertion, the broken faith, the organized perfidy, that manifested thy bearing to those gentler creatures who called thee 'Gentleman George.'

    Paul Clifford — Complete

  • He can't accept that someone whom he would characterize as a libertine could be Amadeus - that is, beloved by God.

    chron.com Chronicle

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  • From p. 83 of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby: "Angry as I was, as we all were, I was tempted to laugh whenever he opened his mouth. The transition from libertine to prig was so complete."

    September 29, 2012

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9J8RIzX_vA

    October 2, 2008

  • Must I confess that Charles—that libertine, that extravagant, that bankrupt in fortune and reputation—that he it is for whom I am thus anxious and malicious, and to gain whom I would sacrifice every thing?
    Sheridan, School for Scandal

    January 5, 2008