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

  • adj. Given over to dissipation; dissolute.
  • adj. Recklessly wasteful; wildly extravagant.
  • n. A profligate person; a wastrel.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Overthrown, ruined.
  • adj. Inclined to waste resources or behave extravagantly.
  • adj. Immoral; abandoned to vice.
  • n. An abandoned person; one openly and shamelessly vicious; a dissolute person.
  • n. An overly wasteful or extravagant individual.
  • v. To drive away; to overcome.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Overthrown; beaten; conquered.
  • adj. Broken down in respect of rectitude, principle, virtue, or decency; openly and shamelessly immoral or vicious; dissolute.
  • n. An abandoned person; one openly and shamelessly vicious; a dissolute person.
  • transitive v. To drive away; to overcome.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To drive away; disperse; discomfit; overcome.
  • Overthrown; conquered; defeated.
  • Ruined in morals; abandoned to vice; lost to principle, virtue, or decency; extremely vicious; shamelessly wicked.
  • Synonyms Profligate, Abandoned, Reprobate, etc. See abandoned and wicked.
  • n. An abandoned person; one who has lost all regard for good principles, virtue, or decency.

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

  • adj. recklessly wasteful
  • n. a recklessly extravagant consumer
  • n. a dissolute man in fashionable society
  • adj. unrestrained by convention or morality


Latin prōflīgātus, past participle of prōflīgāre, to ruin, cast down : prō-, forward; see pro-1 + -flīgāre, intensive of flīgere, to strike down.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin prōflīgātus ("wretched, abandoned"), participle of prōflīgō ("strike down, cast down"), from pro ("forward") + fligere ("to strike, dash") (Wiktionary)



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  • adjective: spending resources recklessly or wastefully

    The composer Wagner, while living on a limited salary, was so profligate as to line all the walls of his apartment with pure silk.

    October 11, 2016

  • It takes a lot of self control for me not to engage in profligate spending when I get my paycheck each month.

    October 11, 2014

  • The worthless and profligate meet the public eye in our streets, on the wharves, and, occasionally, stretched in a state of intoxication on the pavements.

    Mathew Carey, "Public Charities of Philadelphia"

    August 25, 2011

  • almost synonymous with 'rich man's son'

    April 13, 2009