from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun At Aberdeen University, a free scholar; one who has no bursary. See bursary, 2.
  • noun In Roman history, a freedman; a person manumitted or set free from legal servitude.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A freeman of an incorporate town or city.
  • noun One who is free from or does not submit to restraint; one who is free in thought and action.
  • noun One who holds loose views with regard to the laws of religion or morality; an irreligious person; a free-thinker.
  • noun [capitalized] A member of a pantheistic, antinomian sect which existed about 1530 in France and neighboring countries.
  • noun 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Rom. Antiq.) A manumitted slave; a freedman; also, the son of a freedman.
  • noun (Eccl. Hist.) 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Obsolescent A defamatory name for a freethinker.
  • adjective obsolete Free from restraint; uncontrolled.
  • adjective Dissolute; licentious; profligate; loose in morals.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • adjective unrestrained by convention or morality
  • noun a dissolute person; usually a man who is morally unrestrained


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

[Middle English, freedman, from Latin lībertīnus, from lībertus, from līber, free; see leudh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.


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  • 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


    October 2, 2008

  • 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