Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

quodlibet

play
noun quod·li·bet \ˈkwäd-lə-ˌbet\

Definition of quodlibet

  1. 1 :  a philosophical or theological point proposed for disputation; also :  a disputation on such a point

  2. 2 :  a whimsical combination of familiar melodies or texts



Did You Know?

Whatever. Try to get philosophical nowadays and that may be the response you hear. We don't know if someone quibbling over a minor philosophical or theological point 500 years ago might have gotten a similar reaction, but we do know that Latin quodlibet, meaning "any whatever," was the name given to such academic debates. "Quodlibet" is a form of "quilibet," from qui, meaning "what," and libet, meaning "it pleases." We can't say with certainty how "quodlibet" went from disputations to musical conglomerations, but English speakers have been using "quodlibet" for light musical mélanges since the early 19th century.

Origin and Etymology of quodlibet

Middle English, from Medieval Latin quodlibetum, from Latin quodlibet, neuter of quilibet any whatever, from qui who, what + libet it pleases, from libēre to please — more at who, love


First Known Use: 14th century


Learn More about quodlibet


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up quodlibet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the lowest point

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

fox-in-summer-forest

Which of these is a synonym of inchoate?

formless massive frightening experimental
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ